Trauma junkies are people who feed on danger and stress. They do their best work under pressure. Janice Hudson was an adrenaline-charged emergency room nurse in a San Francisco-area hospital when a friend told her about CALSTAR, a fledgling helicopter ambulance service with an opening for a flight nurse. Weeks later she was swooping over the Bay Area to scenes of shootings, accidents and disasters. The trauma junkie had found her element. Hudson spent ten years as a flight nurse, answering calls that were by turns horrifying, heroic and absurd. She decries her personal flights from hell that involved children and drunk drivers. In this moving story, she recalls her triumphs, like the time she performed a surgical cricothyrotomy on a patient as he hung upside down in his overturned car -- in the dark. And she shakes her head at some of the bizarre calls, like the one that took her to the scene of a suspicious mountain lion attack (there are no mountain lions in the Bay Area). But no matter what the call, CALSTAR and its dedicated crew braved danger and hardship to reach the scene of catastrophe in a race against time to bring help to those whose only hope of survival lay in the speed of the helicopter and the skill of the medical crew. A born storyteller, Janice Hudson writes with compassion, insight and wry humor. Trauma Junkie is an in-the-trenches account of emergency nursing at its most demanding.
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