Every Deep-Drawn Breath is a rich blend of science, medical history, profoundly humane patient stories, and personal reflection. Dr. Wes Ely’s mission is to prevent patients from being inadvertently harmed by the technology that is keeping them alive. Readers will experience the world of critical care through the eyes of this physician who drastically changed his clinical practice, and through cutting-edge research convinced others to do the same.
For decades, millions of ICU survivors left the hospital with disabling symptoms including newly acquired dementia, depression, PTSD, and nerve damage, all now recognized as Post Intensive Care Syndrome, or PICS (a severe subset of Long Covid symptoms). Dr. Ely’s groundbreaking investigations advanced the understanding of PICS and introduced crucial changes that reshaped intensive care: minimizing sedation, maximizing mobility, attending to the family, and providing supportive aftercare. Dr. Ely shows that this new way—technology plus touch—is the future of healthcare, and is a proven path toward reclaiming life. Full of wisdom and heart, Every Deep-Drawn Breath is an essential resource for anyone who will be affected by critical illness, which is all of us.
An intensely emotive journey through the science and history of the intensive care unit. . . . Every Deep-Drawn Breath is a paragon of humanity that will have lasting positive effects.
[A] powerful new book. . . . provides true insight into what can be accomplished with humility, perseverance, dedication and above all else, love.
A remarkable look at transformations in ICU care. . . . This humble—and humbling—look at the limits and potential of medicine will stick with readers.
In this dynamic, often touching debut, the author chronicles a personal, passionate return to the ethical heart of the Hippocratic oath. . . . Meaningful, thought-provoking insight into the world of critical care.
A treasure trove of hard-won wisdom. Reading Every Deep-Drawn Breath is like getting a backstage pass to the cloistered world of medical science. A gifted storyteller, Wes Ely brings his humanity to every moment, inspiring us to reexamine our own beliefs and reimagine what is possible.
A stunning, heartbreaking, and hopeful book, expressing Dr. Ely’s profound union of compassion and medical skill. Given that most of us will stay in an ICU, attend a loved one there, or even die in one, I hope that many readers demand treatment according to the practices Dr. Ely has pioneered.
Dr. Ely, a thought leader in his field, reveals hard lessons he’s learned, innovations he’s led, and his compelling, bright vision for the future of medicine.
Through rich and remarkable accounts of caring for ICU patients, in this outstanding book Dr. Wes Ely places the humanistic mission of medicine front and center, where it belongs.
A remarkable book from a legendary physician. Dr. Ely revolutionized critical care and now, through stories that are intimate, honest, and brave, he reveals the failings and the great promise of the field.”
The ICU is an important, mysterious character in the story of modern medicine, and Every Deep-Drawn Breath is its deeply felt, thoroughly researched biography.