Friday 29 January 2021

War Doctor by David Nott

War Doctor: Surgery on the Front LineWar Doctor: Surgery on the Front Line by David Nott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 3 days

Pages - 355

Publisher - Picador

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

For more than 25 years, surgeon David Nott has volunteered in some of the world’s most dangerous conflict zones. From Sarajevo under siege in 1993 to clandestine hospitals in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, he has carried out lifesaving operations in the most challenging conditions, and with none of the resources of a major metropolitan hospital. He is now widely acknowledged as the most experienced trauma surgeon in the world.

War Doctor is his extraordinary story, encompassing his surgeries in nearly every major conflict zone since the end of the Cold War, as well as his struggles to return to a “normal” life and routine after each trip. Culminating in his recent trips to war-torn Syria—and the untold story of his efforts to help secure a humanitarian corridor out of besieged Aleppo to evacuate some 50,000 people—War Doctor is a blend of medical memoir, personal journey, and nonfiction thriller that provides unforgettable, at times raw, insight into the human toll of war.

My Review

Surgeon David Nott works for the NHS he has also spent 25 years volunteering in some of the most dangerous countries ravaged by war and terror. The book takes us on a very stark open and bleak insight into these poor countries. The terror these poor people must feel, snipers shooting at them, regardless of man, woman (pregnant or not), child. Absolutely horrific. Limited medical supplies, pain relief, sanitary conditions - I held my breath reading so many passages of this book.

The amount of surgeries Nott and his colleagues carry out, daily, having to go to different hospital sites, discreetly as they are are risk of being kidnapped, shot, maimed. Some of the doctors performing surgeries they aren't fully educated to do, patients dying on tables because of lack of one thing or another, in some cases because the hospital was being attacked at the same time.

It is a shocking read, I don't tend to see loads of the news although I remember snippets about the chemical attacks. This book allows you to see just how horrific humans can be to others. Nott takes with him his expertise, educates where he can and saves lives as able. There are flashes of heart warming and the risks these volunteers take, their own lives in danger - to try and go to these countries and do what little they can to help.

Very emotive, not for the faint hearted, there is a lot of graphic passages, in the operating room, how the injuries happen. It is heartbreaking and makes you want to reach out and do something to help. At the end of the book there is also a link to the charity set up by the good doctor, 4/5 for me this time.

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