In the tiny town of Patience, California, newcomer Dr. Abby Dolan has noticed a frightening syndrome among her emergency room patients. It begins with a baffling, seemingly minor set of symptoms, but builds relentlessly until it plunges its victims into insane, murderous rages. As she searches for clues to this deadly mystery, Abby's superiors make it clear her probing is unwelcome.
Soon Abby will learn just how high the cost of the truth may be--and how far someone will go to keep a lethal secret. But she may not find the answer until it's too late to save her patients, her career...her life.
From the Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Critical Judgment|
|Release Date: 12-29-2010|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||Critical Judgment|
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Chapter One"Three hundred joules, please...Keep pumping..."
Abby Dolan tightened her grip on the defibrillator paddles as she passed them against the front and left side of the man's massive chest. He was in persistent cardiac arrest despite two electrical shocks and medication. His face and upper torso were mottled violet, reflecting inadequate circulation despite the ongoing CPR. Clearly, time was their enemy.
"Ready," said the nurse handling the defibrillator console.
"Okay everyone, clear!"
Abby pressed her thumb down on the square plastic button set in the handle of the right-hand paddle. Instantly, there was a muffled pop and an audible, visible spark from two spots where the paddles and skin did not make perfect contact. The man's body-250 pounds at least-stiffened and arched. His arms snapped upward like whips. Then, just as rapidly, he was still.
"Pump, please," Abby said, checking the monitor screen.
The paramedic, up on a stool for leverage, wiped the contact gel off the man's chest with a towel, set the heel of his hand over the base of the sternum and resumed his rhythmic compressions. For several seconds there was a slashing up-and-down movement of the tracing on the monitor. But Abby knew from ten years of ER work and countless code ninety-nines that the pattern was artifact, not related to any effective electrical activity of the heart.
She glanced up at the code clock started by the charge nurse at the moment of the man's arrival in room three. Nine minutes. So far nothing. Ab...