Nine Pints

A Journey Through the Money, Medicine, and Mysteries of Blood
Narrated by: Karen Cass
Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
4 out of 5 stars (604 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An eye-opening exploration of blood, the lifegiving substance with the power of taboo, the value of diamonds and the promise of breakthrough science

Blood carries life, yet the sight of it makes people faint. It is a waste product and a commodity pricier than oil. It can save lives and transmit deadly infections. Each one of us has roughly nine pints of it, yet many don’t even know their own blood type. And for all its ubiquitousness, the few tablespoons of blood discharged by 800 million women are still regarded as taboo: menstruation is perhaps the single most demonized biological event.

Rose George, author of The Big Necessity, is renowned for her intrepid work on topics that are invisible but vitally important. In Nine Pints, she takes us from ancient practices of bloodletting to modern “hemovigilance” teams that track blood-borne diseases. She introduces Janet Vaughan, who set up the world’s first system of mass blood donation during the Blitz, and Arunachalam Muruganantham, known as “Menstrual Man” for his work on sanitary pads for developing countries. She probes the lucrative business of plasma transfusions, in which the US is known as the “OPEC of plasma.” And she looks to the future, as researchers seek to bring synthetic blood to a hospital near you.

Spanning science and politics, stories and global epidemics, Nine Pints reveals our life's blood in an entirely new light.

©2018 Rose George (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent read!

cultural-exploration, historical-figures, historical-places-events, historical-research, medical, war-is-hell
Sept 7, 2018
I have been an RN since forever and have worked in an assortment of acute, rehab, and chronic care settings, so my views are not unbiased nor uninformed. Perhaps if I give one example from each chapter it might be useful to those who speak medicalese and those who don't.
1. The changing understanding of blood though millennia including the relatively recent divisions of typing, and the development of blood storage and accessibility.
2. The medical use of leeches from antiquity to the present well past the time of blades or scarification such as brought about the demise of former President Washington.
3. The incredible contributions of Dame Janet Maria Vaughan of the women's college at Oxford in the mid twentieth century.
4. The greatest cause of HIV/AIDS around the world is donating blood in Africa and Southeast Asia.
5. The treatment perils for hemophilia. I value the people mentioned, but am very unhappy that Arthur Ashe went unmentioned even though he came from the country whose pharmaceutical companies denied culpability in the deaths of so many unique people.
6. The practices of derision and blame placed upon women in many countries which also have almost no clean water or sanitary facilities simply because the women are having menstrual bleeding.
7. Beginning with the man who endured verbal abuse from nearly everyone while researching the manufacture and distribution of affordable sanitary napkins and tampons in India and developing nations where women could not afford them and were forced to use some methods from antiquity.
8. Trauma Medicine in civilian hospitals and in war areas and the changes in the use of blood and blood products.
9. The history of vampirism and the search for synthetic products as well as blood as a fountain of youth.
There is an extensive bibliography following these chapters.
I found it to be well written, educational, and enjoyable.
I requested and received a free ebook copy from Metropolitan Books courtesy of NetGalley. Thank you!
6-11-2019
I was delighted to find this on the Daily Deal!

14 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Surprisingly Entertaining

I found many interesting facts about blood and human history in this book. Especially the later chapters on women and social stigma regarding menstruation. Every women should read this book!

21 people found this helpful

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astounding!

I had to fight to turn off my phone to get some sleep. This book is incredibly well researched and written. It is also poignantly funny at times. How I wish I could thank the author in person for this gift!

29 people found this helpful

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Funny science

The author and reader conspire to offer us laughable episodes together with heart stopping stories of struggle, error and breakthrough. My favorite chapter concerns trauma... she begins with the story of a tragic bicycle rider and takes us on a journey of extreme effort and humble failure.

27 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Author goes on long unnecessary tangents

I was expecting to learn more about blood. This book has some good stories but many of the chapters go on long boring tangents.

39 people found this helpful

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Compelling and shocking.

Rose George goes all the way for this book. The amount of knowledge you gain about the world (and blood) through this story is astounding!

21 people found this helpful

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Wasn't what I expected or what I wanted

This book isn't bad per se but there isn't much science to it. There are some interesting stories about blood donation, blood bourne diseases and interesting characters like "pad man". Unfortunately there is virtually nothing about blood itself. How it carries oxygen, removes waste and clots. That's what I wanted but not what I got.

9 people found this helpful

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Difficult to follow

The narrator sounds like a robot, and seems to bounce through the story. Not enjoying

24 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

fantastic

I loved it. right up my alley, full of so much interesting history and scientific fact to which I was previously unintroduced.

10 people found this helpful

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Curiosity becomes Informative

I really like this book. There are many attributes of blood that are not here, but as she follows a few biggies like transfusion and blood donation I learned a lot about blood in general. The narrator was excellent. My only criticism is she spends way too long on the really important issue of menstrual pads.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for PLaurent
  • PLaurent
  • 10-26-19

overall good

nice book .could have done with one fewer menstruation chapter.the book starts will but drags in the middle when it focuses a third of the book onto periods .. I get that it's relevant but it seemed to be trying too hard here.

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  • Private
  • 09-26-19

sounds like it might be read by a robot

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