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Hannah Wunsch discusses her debut The Autumn Ghost

May 25, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Americans knew polio as the “summer plague.” In countries further North, however, the virus arrived later in the year, slipping into the homes of healthy children as the summer waned and the equinox approached. It was described by one writer as “the autumn ghost.”

Intensive care units and mechanical ventilation are the crucial foundation of modern medical care: without them, the appalling death toll of the COVID-19 pandemic would be even higher. InĀ The Autumn Ghost, Dr. Hannah Wunsch traces the origins of these two innovations back to a polio epidemic in the autumn of 1952. Drawing together compelling testimony from doctors, nurses, medical students, and patients, Wunsch relates a gripping tale of an epidemic that changed the world.

In vivid, captivating chapters, Wunsch tells the dramatic true story of how insiders and iconoclasts came together in one overwhelmed hospital in Copenhagen to save the lives of many polio patients dying of respiratory failure. Their radical advances in care marked a turning point in the treatment of patients around the world–from the rise of life support and the creation of intensive care units to the evolution of rehabilitation medicine.


May 25, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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