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Code 15    by Gary Birken order for
Code 15
by Gary Birken
Order:  USA  Can
Jove, 2009 (2009)
Paperback, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

After reading Gary Birken's latest, Code 15, I'm having a few doubts about having the knee surgery for which I'm scheduled. Not that I don't trust the hospital or the doctor, but I sure hope no one is angry with either when it's my turn.

Chief of Emergency Medicine at Dade Presbyterian Hospital Dr. Morgan Connolly has an irate father who lost both his sons to meningitis tracking her and causing unexplained errors in medical procedures (Code 15). As the plot unveils, the reader feels angry at the father but can understand his anguish. As the action picks up, more uncalled for deaths occur and the reader is appalled at the people who die unnecessarily.

Morgan is a great character with enough problems of her own with which to contend. She can multi-task, even under the dire circumstances that unfold. Her ex is a real loser. As are her hospital administrators, who would prefer for her to take blame for something for which she is not responsible just to keep the hospital from receiving adverse publicity in the media. Code 15 is carefully plotted to reach a surprise ending that will leave you gasping for breath but also muttering 'Of course, why didn't I think of that?'

The author, a pediatric surgeon in Hollywood, Florida, knows that medical mistakes must be reported to Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration within fifteen days of occurrence. While his book is a work of fiction, he 'offers an accurate, of-the-moment experience of life inside a hospital in crisis - from emergency room drama to the politics involved behind the scenes.' Good, good book.

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