I usually don’t cover medical technology unless it somehow impacts living and working in a connected world. But a new book entitled, Fragile Beginnings: Discoveries and Triumphs in the Newborn ICU by Adam Wolfberg, MD really got my attention. It features some of the remarkable work being done by my very good friend Jason Carmel, MD. Fragile Beginnings tells the story of the authors’ daughter, who was born at 26 weeks, her struggles in the neonatal ICU, and her ultimate recovery from a large brain hemorrhage. The book features Dr. Carmel’s work as a scientist, and his studies of brain injury and repair and describes advances in newborn care and the brain plasticity underlying his daughter’s recovery.
Half a million babies are born prematurely in the United States every year. In fact, one of my granddaughters was born five weeks premature. As doctors and parents make decisions about life-saving care in the first hours of a premature infants life, they must grapple with profound ethical and scientific questions: Who should be saved? How aggressively should doctors try to salvage the life of a premature baby, who may be severely neurologically and physically impaired? What will that child’s quality of life be like after millions of dollars are spent saving her? As a specialist in high-risk obstetrics, Dr. Adam Wolfberg explores those profound questions at the beginning of life from the font lines of the Newborn Intensive Care Unit.