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Views & Reviews Review of the week

Getting the inside story

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 12 July 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:102
  1. Craig Gerrand, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust.

    A prime time series uses computer generated images to illustrate what happens to patients at times of medical crisis—but is it worth the effort asks Craig Gerrand

    “Right from the start, we all have one overwhelming instinct.” So say the makers of Fight for Life, a series of six documentaries examining how the instinct for survival makes the body resilient against “incredible” odds. Each programme looks at a different stage in life—birth, childhood, teenage years, prime, middle age, and old age—and the challenges to survival during each. The programmes tell the stories of individuals at times of medical crisis and punctuates them with computer generated images. These images mean that we get to see the story from the inside: City Hospital meets TheMatrix.

    The first programme sees Gabriel facing “incredible” danger before birth—meconium is seeping into his lungs—and there it is, black and tarry, squelching blob-like down the bronchi. The dramatic tension is raised. Gabriel's chances of survival are 30%. There is an emergency ambulance transfer. A priest is called; the …

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