Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science - A Queasy Feeling Summary & Analysis

Atul Gawande
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A Queasy Feeling Summary and Analysis

In "A Queasy Feeling," Gawande discusses another puzzling condition—nausea. While the act of vomiting is very clear (salivation increases, pupils dilate, heartbeat races, esophagus contracts, the upper small intestine contracts, and then coordinated contractions of the abdomen and diaphragm), nausea, the precursor to vomiting, is seldom discussed in medical school.

Gawande explains that nausea is a typical side effect of drugs, motion sickness and pregnancy. The intensity of nausea may have a functional purpose—the aversive event (vomiting) paired with the stimulus (e.g. poisonous or toxic foods) may prevent the sufferer from seeking out the stimulus again. Pregnancy sickness, may prevent mothers from exposing their vulnerable and sensitive embryos to natural toxins that are safe for the fully developed mother. However these biological purposes do not explain all bouts of vomiting, such as...

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This section contains 442 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science Study Guide
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