Download E-books Five Quarts: A Personal and Natural History of Blood PDF

By Bill Hayes

“This beguiling brew of attention-grabbing medical evidence and illuminating, poignant anecdotes makes 5 Quarts whatever like blood itself: important and pulsing with energy.”
–Entertainment Weekly

From historic Rome, the place gladiators drank the blood of vanquished foes to achieve energy and braveness, to modern day laboratories, the place machines attempt blood for illnesses and scientists look for elusive therapies, invoice Hayes takes us on a whirlwind trip via background, literature, mythology, and technological know-how when it comes to the nice pink river that runs 5 quarts robust via bodies. Hayes additionally recounts the effect of the very important fluid in his way of life, from starting to be up in a loved ones of 5 sisters and their per month cycles to his enduring partnership with an HIV-positive guy. As a lot a biography of blood because it is a memoir of ways this wealthy substance has formed one man’s lifestyles, 5 Quarts is via turns whimsical and provocative, informative and relocating.

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The energy Steve and i've drawn from one another during the last decade has definitely gotten us via a few tough occasions as he has battled AIDS. after all, love and aid are only part of our arsenal. His survival has depended, to an excellent volume, on fabulous medical professionals. And the “miracles” we’ve skilled in our life—the robust new medicines licensed simply in time, the totally unforeseen optimistic blood paintings, Steve’s Lazarus-like go back from dire illness—seem extra a fabricated from the pharmaceutical than the intervention of a divine being. whereas issues are presently no longer nice, they’re now not bad, both. We’re in a conserving trend of wish, fearful yet now not determined. now we have put our religion in technological know-how. yet religion doesn't restrict wondering. I’ve by no means neglected becoming a member of Steve at a doctor’s appointment, and we continually arrive with a listing of inquiries to elevate, even if approximately signs, drug unintended effects, or medicinal drugs within the pipeline. the 3 folks struggle through Steve’s blood paintings try out by means of attempt to evaluate how his routine is operating. while his health care professional recommends a brand new drug, we then do our personal study in remedy journals and on-line sooner than filling the prescription. The scrutiny to which new drugs are subjected this day is straightforward to take with no consideration. It’s brain blowing, against this, to appear into the historical past of a long-lived therapy for which the main extravagant claims have been made whilst no conclusive facts of its price ever existed: bloodletting. The perform of taking flight blood to regard a spectrum of diseases, every little thing from insomnia to hemorrhage, purely died out within the usa within the Twenties. It had continued all through a lot of the area for greater than twenty-five centuries—twenty-five centuries! —making it, for my part, the longest-running scientific trial in drugs, one who concerned thousands of sufferers and endured on not anything yet anecdotal facts. The earliest and so much influential surviving texts on bloodletting have been written via a Greek healthcare professional named Galen (A. D. 129–200), who begun his profession tending to wounded gladiators and rose to develop into the Western world’s ideally suited authority on drugs. Galen’s perspectives have been thought of clinical gospel for fourteen hundred years, and that i can comprehend why. He makes an illogical perform sound downright average. His writing voice is so transparent and commanding, it truly is virtually a summons. Galen first made a reputation for himself on the Coliseum in Pergamum, a small state in what’s now western Turkey. There, because the leader health care provider to the gladiators, Galen used to be the traditional an identical of an ER physician, treating the freshly butchered in his trauma ward within the basement of the stadium. simply as a contemporary health care provider may well listen the far-off wail of an ambulance and understand a physique was once on its means, Galen can have had his personal alarm process within the collective gasps and muffled yelps of the crowds overhead. This proficient twenty-eight-year-old, who’d started learning the therapeutic arts at fourteen, had a magnificent first 12 months at the activity: now not a unmarried gladiator died of accidents, which used to be remarkable, provided that the opponents fought with brutal-looking tridents and two-foot-long swords.

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