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Fatal Sequence: The Killer Within [Paperback]

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Item description for Fatal Sequence: The Killer Within by Kevin J. Tracey...

Severe sepsis, a critical illness that most often afflicts victims of initially nonfatal illnesses or injuries, is the third-most-common killer in the United States. In Fatal Sequence, neurosurgeon, immunologist, and clinical investigator Kevin J. Tracey offers a chronicle both scientific and human, using cases he personally experienced to illustrate the clinical nightmare of organ failure that typifies the disease. 

In clear, accessible language, Tracey explains how the brain, which normally restrains the immune system and protects the patient, can fail during severe sepsis—allowing the immune system to indiscriminately kill normal cells along with foreign microbes. Fatal Sequence is a compelling documentation of an all-too-common situation: doctors fighting to prevent patients' deaths at the hands of complications from injuries and illnesses that should never be fatal in the first place. 

“This book is a must for anyone interested in protecting the body from foreign organisms and, in many instances, itself.” —Jamie Talan, Newsday

From The Book Jacket
The human body is capable of killing itself for little apparent reason, and it happens often enough to rank as the third most common cause of death in the United States today. Kevin Tracey, a neurosurgeon, immunologist, and highly regarded scientist, offers in Fatal Sequence an easily understandable account of the medical and scientific "perfect storm" that is severe sepsis, the medical crisis that can descend on patients fighting off even seemingly nonfatal illness or injury. Severe sepsis killed "Muppets" creator Jim Henson, who had been hospitalized for pneumonia, and took the life of Christopher Reeve, who was being treated for pressure sores of the skin.

Fatal Sequence tells the story of Janice, a one-year-old who arrives in the emergency room, burned by boiling water after she crawled behind her unsuspecting grandmother as she turned from the stove. She survives the night, but the following morning is only the beginning of her long and intense battle against severe sepsis, as her body attacks itself. Tracey, who cared for the girl during her four weeks in intensive care, draws on her case to vividly illustrate why sepsis happens, in a sensitive, suspenseful story that renders cutting-edge science human, accessible, and unforgettable.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 15, 2006
Publisher   Dana Press
ISBN  1932594094  
ISBN13  9781932594096  

Availability  0 units.

More About Kevin J. Tracey

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! A renowned scientist, neurosurgeon, author, and lecturer, Kevin J. Tracey received his M.D. from Boston University and completed his neurosurgery training at the New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical College. He is professor and head of the Herman and Susan Merinoff Center for Patient Oriented Research; CEO of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research; the Vice President of Research at North Shore-LIJ Health System; and the program director at the General Clinical Research Center in Manhasset, New York. He is also the author or co-author of more than 150 scientific papers and patents. His honors include the Annual Clinical Science Lectureship from the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm; the Richard Simmons Lectureship from the University of Pittsburgh; and induction into the American Society of Clinical Investigation.

Kevin J. Tracey currently resides in Long Island, in the state of New York.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Disorders & Diseases > Physical Impairments
2Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > General
3Books > Subjects > Medicine > Diseases > General
4Books > Subjects > Medicine > General
5Books > Subjects > Medicine > Physician & Patient > Hospice Care
6Books > Subjects > Science > History & Philosophy > Science

Reviews - What do customers think about Fatal Sequence: The Killer Within?

I've been there, and this book's GOOD.  May 8, 2008
I discovered this book three years ago, quite by accident, and it explained--in readable language and comfortable style--EXACTLY what had happened to my body when I came within moments of death in late '04 and early '05. Mine weren't burn wounds like Janice's, but treated the same--the result of a tiny (less than 1/2 inch), single dog bite that injected a bacteria into my bloodstream. My lungs "failed" (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome--ARDS)and began a process that led to a near-fatal clotting disorder, multi-organ failure, gangrene and amputation of four fingers and the front halves of both feet; skin and fat necrosis (blackening, rotting) from my waist down (eventually excised--carved off--almost to bone, from knees to ankles of both legs); extensive skin grafts (taken from my back), dramatic scarring, and limited ability to stand or walk. In a burn ward, like Janice in the book, there were brief moments of lucidity over a period of almost three months, during which I repeatedly asked, "What happened to me?" Thanks to Kevin Tracy's "Fatal Sequence," I now thoroughly understand the "domino effect" of severe sepsis and its all-too-common, tragic ending. Readers might accurately conclude, after reading this book, that in obituaries such terms as "pneumonia" or "brief illness" are euphamisms for SEPSIS that leads so quickly to demise. "Fatal Sequence" explores and reveals body functions and self-contained back-up systems of which few people are aware . . . until they fail. I cherish my two copies and highly recommend this book for folks still asking, "What happened?" and for any medical professional who has lost a patient to "infection," despite the best knowledge, resources, technology, treatment, and care. It is a simple, yet technically sound play-by-play account of the body's own dying process. Remarkable.
Complex material made understandable  Dec 13, 2005
Dr. Tracey,
Thanks for writing this book, and making the subject of sepsis into a reading experience that I couldn't put down. Its rare for a professional to be able to write about such a complex subject and make it both interesting and understandable to the non-scientist.

This is a book that I am passing on to my high school and college aged children, in hopes that it sheds some light on the human side of chosing research medicine as a career path.

I'm hoping that you keep publishing!
A formidable book, a must-read for any medical student  Nov 22, 2005
This is wonderful book for the general public and requires little knowledge of medicine. It is written as a journal followed by a discussion and relates how a physician's compassion for a dying child leads to an important discovery in neuroimmunology. The book also describes in relatively simple terms the process of science and the steps involved in this discovery. At the end, Dr. Tracey introduces a medical theory called "the cytokine theory of disease," to explain many therapeutic effects observed in conventional and alternative medicine. Overall, this is a formidable book that anyone interested in a becoming a healthcare provider should read.
A Tear for Janice's Struggles, A Prayer for the Future  Jun 5, 2005
About two thirds of this book is the story of Janice, an eleven months old girl who was admitted to the hospital with burns over 75% of her body. Her life expectancy with this much burn was about 25%, unlikely to survive the first night. But she did. She was recovering until her body began destroying itself. The name of her condition is severe sepsis.

Anyone with a child will shed tears as they read the struggles Janice's little body made against the infection and her own out of control immune system. But with Dr. Tracey this was a life changing experience as his experience with Janice's fight made him choose a life of scientific research into severe sepsis.

The remaining third of the book talks about the research Dr. Tracey and his associates have conducted in the subsequent years and serves as a preliminary finding as to what they have discovered, the status of the research, and the hope for the future.
Fatal Sequence the Killer within by Kevin J. Tracey,M.D.  Apr 22, 2005
This book, Fatal Sequence, is highly recommended reading for everyone. The information about sepsis is so pertinent that anyone who reads this book would benefit from the knowledge you receive. Dr.Kevin J. Tracey is world reknowned. He is a neurosurgeon, an immnnologist and a highly regarded scientist. Dr. Tracey's genuis is the ability to write about why sepsis happens in an understandable way. Sepsis is so common that it happens to someone in everyone's family. Many with non fatal illness or injury die of sepsis so often that it is the thrid most common cause of death in our hospitals. It is a must for understanding what happens to us when we get sick. This is a suspensful story that is so well written that you will savor each page. I believe,"Fatal Sequence the killer within", should be a must for all best seller list. Please read this book and write your own review.
Thank you, Dr. Tracey for making a difference
Alice E. Oliva
580 Horizons West
Boynton Beach, Fl 33435

Thank you, Dr. Tracey for making a difference.
Please read this book and write your own review.

I urge you to please read this book and write your own review.


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