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Decision Point

Taking Risks to Save Lives in Emergency Medicine

A visceral narrative investigation of the quest for 'zero harm' by one of the UK's most renowned frontline doctors and podcast stars

Professor Kevin Fong was flying with the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, making split-second, life-or-death decisions in the most extreme circumstances. Then he was seconded to the NHS's Covid-19 Strategy Unit, tasked with leading the fight against pandemic. In this gripping blend of memoir and reportage, he confronts a disturbing truth: the quest for 'zero harm' can prevent the saving of lives.

Telling stories of astonishing skill and catastrophic error across medicine, aviation and space-flight, and reflecting on his own dramatic experiences as well as those of war medics, pilots and surgeons, Fong offers a visceral journey and a major new argument about the balance of safety and risk in the 21st century.

About the author

Kevin Fong

Kevin Fong (OBE) is a consultant at UCL Hospitals specialising in intensive-care medicine and Major Incident Planning, where he also holds an honorary chair of Public Engagement for Science and Medicine. In 2020 he was seconded to the NHS England Covid-19 Emrgency Preparedness, Resilience and Response Team. Previously he has flown with the Helicopter Emergency Service and worked at NASA. He holds degrees in astrophysics, medicine and engineering. He is the writer and presenter of the number one hit podcast 13 Minutes to the Moon and author of Extremes: Life, Death and the Limits of the Human Body.

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