Professor Kevin Fong flies with the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, making split-second, life-or-death decisions in the most extreme circumstances. In this gripping blend of memoir and reportage, he confronts a disturbing truth: sometimes even the best trained expert does not know the right thing to do.
Telling stories of astonishing skill and catastrophic error, he shows that our ability to move at ever greater speeds in ever greater safety comes with a bitter irony: when something goes wrong - as it must - reacting quickly and effectively enough is now beyond human capability. So what is to be done? Reflecting on his own dramatic experiences and those of war medics, pilots and surgeons, Fong considers the hidden dangers of our `zero harm' culture and the virtues of decision-making models based on 'graceful failure', showing how we might come to terms with the mess and blur of real decisions made in realtime.