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A moving exploration of the most common but most mysterious procedure in medicine.
For many of the millions of people who undergo anaesthesia each year, it is the source of great fear and fascination. In Counting Backwards, anaesthetist Henry Jay Przybylo has written an unforgettable account of the routine procedure’s daily dramas and fundamental mysteries. Przybylo has administered anaesthesia more than 30,000 times on newborn babies, screaming toddlers and sullen teenagers, his own son and even a gorilla. With compassion and candour, he weaves his experiences into stories that explore the nature of consciousness, the politics of pain relief and the wonder of modern medicine. Through its intense and humane tales of mistakes, near-disasters, life-saving successes and moments of grace, Counting Backwards shines a light on a fascinating but unexplored corner of the medical world.