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The Lassa Ward : One Man's Fight Against One of the World's Deadliest Diseases - Dr Ross Donaldson

The Lassa Ward

One Man's Fight Against One of the World's Deadliest Diseases

Paperback Published: 20th July 2010
ISBN: 9780312377014
Number Of Pages: 270

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Ross Donaldson was an idealistic young medical student who gave up his comfortable life in the States to venture into Sierra Leone, a country ravaged by fighting and plagued by conflict streaming across the border from neighboring Liberia. In a hospital ward with meager supplies, Ross is in a race against time to find a way to care for patients afflicted with Lassa fever, a deadly and highly contagious hemorrhagic illness similar to Ebola. Forced to confront his own fears, he stands alone to make life-and-death decisions in the face of a never-ending onslaught of the sick. Ultimately, he finds himself not only fighting for the lives of others but also for his own. "The Lassa Ward" is the memoir of a young man studying to be a physician, while making his way through a land where a battle against one of the world's deadliest diseases matches a struggle for human rights and decency. Dr. Ross I. Donaldson, M.D., M.P.H., is a UCLA medical professor and works in one of L.A.'s main trauma centers. He is author of several medical textbooks, has been a humanitarian in some of the world's most dangerous places, and is host of Lifetime's "Street Doctors." He lives in Venice Beach, California. "No matter how low a cotton tree falls, it is still taller than grass."
Those are the words that a humanitarian physician, Dr. Aniru Conteh, uses as he leaves a young medical student in charge of a ward filled with critically ill patients, in a hospital flooded with refugees from a runaway civil war. Ross Donaldson was that idealistic student who gave up his comfortable life in the States to venture into Sierra Leone, a country ravaged by fighting and plagued by conflict that was streaming across the border from neighboring Liberia.
In a hospital ward with meager supplies, Ross has to find some way to care for patients afflicted with Lassa fever, a highly contagious hemorrhagic illness similar to Ebola. Forced to confront his own fear of the disease, he stands alone to make life-and-death decisions in the face of a never-ending onslaught of the sick who are inundating the hospital. Ultimately, he finds himself fighting not only for the lives of others but also for his own life.
"The Lassa Ward "is the memoir of a young man studying to become a physician while trying to make his way through a land where a battle against one of the world's deadliest diseases matches a struggle for human rights and human decency. It is also the story of a young doctor-in-the-making who rises to the occasion and does his best to save the patients in his care, but not without finally having to confront his own human frailty. "Donaldson started out as an earnest, well-meaning American medical student, off on a great African adventure. He came of age in the middle of a raging epidemic, civil war, and hideous poverty, discovering a humanity few Americans ever experience. Donaldson has bared his soul, offering a lesson that should be required reading for every doctor-in-training."--Laurie Garrett, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of "Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health"

"For living color, turn to "The Lassa Ward," which effortlessly transmits both the facts and the fascination of a bad infectious outbreak. Dr. Ross Donaldson spent two months in Sierra Leone as a medical student in 2003. Malaria, tuberculosis, yellow fever and AIDS were rampant, but Dr. Donaldson, for reasons clear perhaps only to the invulnerable post-adolescent he was at the time, decided to spend his time with Lassa fever patients. This rat-borne illness is one of Africa's dire viral hemorrhagic fevers; like Ebola, it can reduce a human body to a bruised, bloated corpse in days. It is terrifying--the secretions of infected patients easily spread the disease--but it is also treatable, and in the best cases patients get well and go home. Dr. Donaldson had trailed the elderly Lassa specialist Dr. Conteh for only a few weeks when, to his horror, he was left alone in charge of the Lassa isolation ward. 'No matter how low a cotton tree falls, it is still taller than grass, ' the old doctor said as he left to teach in another town. In other words, the inexperienced Dr. Donaldson, with three years of medical school, had more formal education than anyone else around. With patients who were sicker than sick, and little in the way of tests or treatments, Dr. Donaldson clung to the usual life preservers: the advice of a couple of experienced nurses and his own common sense. At the end of two weeks, he writes, 'I hardly recognized the person I had become.' He was a Lassa expert, veteran of the old education-by-immersion process that terrifies medical students no matter where they are. His take on epidemic infection is dead-on, down to the bizarre stubbornness that often permeates stricken communities and prevents the very changes that might save lives. (For Lassa, a key preventive measure was to stop eating rats, but rat meat tasted far too good for that advice to be taken seriously.)"--Abigail Zuger, M.D., "The" "New York Times" "Donaldson started out as an earnest, well-meaning American medical student, off on a great African adventure. He came of age in the middle of a raging epidemic, civil war, and hideous poverty, discovering a humanity few Americans ever experience. Donaldson has bared his soul, offering a lesson that should be required reading for every doctor-in-training."--Laurie Garrett, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of "Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health"
"A touching and compelling account. "The Lassa Ward "brings to life the challenges and rewards that dedicated development workers face daily around the world."--Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2001 Nobel laureate in economics
"Intrepid medical-school student confronts a deadly virus decimating West Africa. During his second year of medical school, Donaldson became intrigued by the deadly Lassa fever, a rat-borne hemorrhagic virus closely related to the Ebola a

Industry Reviews

"Effortlessly transmits both the facts and the fascination of a bad infectious outbreak...[a] portrait of contagion at the highest possible magnification." --The New York Times

"A touching and compelling account. The Lassa Ward brings to life the challenges and rewards that dedicated development workers face daily around the world." --Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2001 Nobel laureate in economics

"Required reading for all medical students and anyone looking for a little armchair medical adventure." --Library Journal

"Donaldson started out as an earnest, well-meaning American medical student, off on a great African adventure. He came of age in the middle of a raging epidemic, civil war, and hideous poverty, discovering a humanity few Americans ever experience. Donaldson has bared his soul, offering a lesson that should be required reading for every doctor-in-training." --Laurie Garrett, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health

"A potent mix of travel memoir, coming-of-age narrative and medical mystery. Donaldson's experiences treating a frighteningly infectious and often deadly hemorrhagic fever, the strength of his West African patients, and his own grave illness bring him to a contemplation of mortality, poverty, civil war, and medicine as it is practiced in the first and third worlds." --Jo Perry, BookBrowse.com Effortlessly transmits both the facts and the fascination of a bad infectious outbreak...[a] portrait of contagion at the highest possible magnification. "The New York Times"

A touching and compelling account. "The Lassa Ward" brings to life the challenges and rewards that dedicated development workers face daily around the world. "Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2001 Nobel laureate in economics"

Required reading for all medical students and anyone looking for a little armchair medical adventure. "Library Journal"

Donaldson started out as an earnest, well-meaning American medical student, off on a great African adventure. He came of age in the middle of a raging epidemic, civil war, and hideous poverty, discovering a humanity few Americans ever experience. Donaldson has bared his soul, offering a lesson that should be required reading for every doctor-in-training. "Laurie Garrett, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health"

A potent mix of travel memoir, coming-of-age narrative and medical mystery. Donaldson's experiences treating a frighteningly infectious and often deadly hemorrhagic fever, the strength of his West African patients, and his own grave illness bring him to a contemplation of mortality, poverty, civil war, and medicine as it is practiced in the first and third worlds. "Jo Perry, BookBrowse.com"" "Effortlessly transmits both the facts and the fascination of a bad infectious outbreak...[a] portrait of contagion at the highest possible magnification."--"The New York Times"

"A touching and compelling account. "The Lassa Ward" brings to life the challenges and rewards that dedicated development workers face daily around the world."--Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2001 Nobel laureate in economics

"Required reading for all medical students and anyone looking for a little armchair medical adventure."--"Library Journal"

"Donaldson started out as an earnest, well-meaning American medical student, off on a great African adventure. He came of age in the middle of a raging epidemic, civil war, and hideous poverty, discovering a humanity few Americans ever experience. Donaldson has bared his soul, offering a lesson that should be required reading for every doctor-in-training."--Laurie Garrett, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of "Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health ""A potent mix of travel memoir, coming-of-age narrative and medical mystery. Donaldson's experiences treating a frighteningly infectious and often deadly hemorrhagic fever, the strength of his West African patients, and his own grave illness bring him to a contemplation of mortality, poverty, civil war, and medicine as it is practiced in the first and third worlds. " - Jo Perry, BookBrowse.com

ISBN: 9780312377014
ISBN-10: 0312377010
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 270
Published: 20th July 2010
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.61 x 14.99  x 2.03
Weight (kg): 0.39

Earn 83 Qantas Points
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