We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
Five Days at Memorial Audiobook

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

Regular Price:$35.00
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, September 2013 - I’m more of a fiction reader and listener, but on the occasions when I turn to nonfiction it’s to better understand a compelling story. The best narrative nonfiction – like Unbroken and Devil in the White City – remains with you long after the last chapter has ended, and so is the case with my September pick, which reveals the chaotic details, devastating conditions, and overwhelming emotions that emerged during the five days that hundreds of patients, employees, family members, and pets spent stranded in New Orleans’ Memorial Hospital during Hurricane Katrina. It’s hard to listen to the events of those days – but almost as impossible to put the book down as author Sheri Fink, who previously won the Pulitzer Prize for her reporting, raises important questions about end-of-life care and how to be better prepared for major disasters. Frightening, fascinating, and highly recommended. —Diana D., Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize winner Sheri Fink’s landmark investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina - and her suspenseful portrayal of the quest for truth and justice

In the tradition of the best writing on medicine, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the listener into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amidst chaos.

After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths.

Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing the listener into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing.

In a voice at once involving and fair, masterful and intimate, Fink exposes the hidden dilemmas of end-of-life care and reveals just how ill-prepared we are in America for the impact of large-scale disasters - and how we can do better. A remarkable book, engrossing from start to finish, Five Days at Memorial radically transforms your understanding of human nature in crisis.

©2013 Sheri Fink (P)2013 Random House Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1171 )
5 star
 (508)
4 star
 (436)
3 star
 (163)
2 star
 (41)
1 star
 (23)
Overall
4.2 (1035 )
5 star
 (504)
4 star
 (343)
3 star
 (132)
2 star
 (38)
1 star
 (18)
Story
4.2 (1028 )
5 star
 (477)
4 star
 (359)
3 star
 (139)
2 star
 (32)
1 star
 (21)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Sha Blackburn Lakeville, MA United States 07-27-17
    Sha Blackburn Lakeville, MA United States 07-27-17 Member Since 2011

    LoonWitch

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "powerful and thought provoking"

    Having never lived through a disaster, this story is an eye opener. I can only imagine what it was like. but this book is well researched, and brings a lot to ponder about all disaster preparedness as well as compassion for those who have no choice but to make hard decisions with no support.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie 07-09-17
    Julie 07-09-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting, broad look at Katrina's devastation"
    Would you listen to Five Days at Memorial again? Why?

    Interesting history about the city, it's engineering, it's political shortcomings and federal abandonment. More interesting was the moral decisions that the medical professionals were called to make amidst ever-changing information. Fascinating to hear how the patient's survival potential was coded for the purposes of evacuation - people became numbers. Doctors chose who lived, who evacuated, who was deserving of euthanasia, including the doctor's and nurses pets who sheltered at the same hospital! Learned a lot about medicines and life support, and how the close-to-dying are cared for in hospitals.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The euthanasia debate. Was it murder? Or euthanasia? Is a catastrophic event like Katrina equivalent to war-time rules of survival?


    What three words best describe Kirsten Potter’s performance?

    newscaster court reporter


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    The differences in each area hospital's experience. Some were hopeful and only 1-2 people died. Others were bleak and many many died.


    Any additional comments?

    Can't wait to find more stories about Katrina.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RC 06-23-17
    RC 06-23-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "what would I do"

    narration was great. a must read for all health care workers. how would I perform.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda 06-20-17
    Amanda 06-20-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Devil is in the details"
    What did you love best about Five Days at Memorial?

    This is the perfect description of a series of small failures that lead to unthinkable yet preventable situations. I loved the break down of information both clinical and emotional accounts.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I found myself researching other facts related to Katrina and the many accounts of emergency services and residents.


    Any additional comments?

    Anyone in the medical field, civil service or emergency management should read this book. The Devil is in the details as a paramedic I have seen first hand how important the ICS system is when the exchange of reliable information breaks down chaos and bad decisions result from bad information.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dinkeegy 05-29-17
    Dinkeegy 05-29-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wow!"

    this really opened my eyes to the importance of emergency preparedness. thank you for sharing this story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Renee Sullivan 05-24-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Difficult choices"

    As a nurse I followed the decisions they made and asked myself, what would I do. We know what to do when we have all the tools of modern medicine. But when disaster such as Katrina happens, choices aren't so certain. Maybe they should be.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joliefab 04-21-17
    Joliefab 04-21-17 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Five (exceedingly long) days . . ."
    What did you love best about Five Days at Memorial?

    Thorough, clearly researched, and seemingly fairly reported.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Sheri Fink? Why or why not?

    The story was very good and each "character" reasonably fleshed out - but it really did feel as though the whole story could have been told in half the time. It felt endless. I kept telling myself that it was probably how the actual people felt - but I think it was to the detriment of the story - the drama and the description of the dire circumstances suffered because it went on and on and on . . . this is one book that perhaps I should have considered in an abridged version.


    Any additional comments?

    I had only heard snippets on the news that it was possible that hospital workers had euthanized patients during the aftermath of Katrina, and I remember thinking "how sad." How sad that maybe it had happened, how sad that conditions had come to that, how sad that people were being accused of it when there was so much else that went wrong. I bought the book because I wanted to understand whether it happened and if so, why? This book covered just about everything, including the legal proceedings that followed. I won't spoil the story for you, but I read afterwards that the doctor in the book completely disagrees with Sheri Fink's account - which is unfortunate. It seemed to me that the doctor was fairly and compassionately portrayed without any judgement and it is left to the reader to decide what the intentions of each person were.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reader of Books 02-13-17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mispronunciation of New Orleans words"

    I live in New Orleans and was blown away by the constant mispronunciation of word after word. Was there no consultant on site to help her? I've listened to half of it and can't go on. The story itself is very interesting and detailed but her pronunciations were just too distracting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taylor 01-29-17
    Taylor 01-29-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fair book"

    It is well written and researched. However, the driving force of the book is the narrative surrounding the characters. It doesn't provide a very thorough treatment of the questions of medical ethics that underlies the event and gives rise to the narrative. It's a story, not an exploration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    astaiannymph 12-19-16 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Heartbreaking story, excellent narrative"

    This book is hard to get through because the events are so tragic, but the author tells it in such a way that you want to keep listening, and the narrator is so good I didn't notice her voice for the content.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.