Publish date: 23 February 2023

UCLH consultant Jim Down has written a second book, Life in the Balance, after his successful pandemic diaries, Life Support, published in 2021.

In this collection of new stories, Jim writes about being at the very heart of an intensive care unit looking after the sickest patients brought to UCLH to be cared for until their condition improves.

He describes the quietly heroic work of staff on ICU, a place which sits at the cutting edge of medical technology and where a split-second decision can make the difference between life and death.

From headline-grabbing cases like that of Alexander Litvinenko, poisoned by Russian agents, to the appalling aftermath of a train crash, and the mundane daily struggle to simply find enough beds, Jim provides a unique insight into life on UCLH’s critical care unit, and the critical medicine doctors and nurses perform there.

Life in the Balance offers a real glimpse of intensive care medicine, its immense challenges, deleterious effects on mental health as well as enormous rewards.

Jim has been a consultant at UCLH since 2005. His new book can be found here.