Eric Hoffer Category Finalist Award, 2010
Winner of Mom's Choice Award - Health/Fitness/Safety
Winner (bronze) of the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards, 2009, Health Category.
Winner of the Best How-To Book of the Year, 2009, San Francisco Book Festival Awards
Winner of the Allbooks Review Editor's Choice Award for Best Health Book of 2009
Second Place Winner of the Written Art Awards Fall 2009 Awards,
in Nonfiction/self help.
Winner of the best How-To Book of 2009,
New England Book Festival
Best Health Book of the Year, 2008, awarded by Books & Authors.net
Winner of the Best How-To Book of the Year, 2009, Nashville Book Festival Awards
Winner of best How-To Book for the 2008 DIY Book Festival Awards
Honorable Mention, Self-help book of the Year, 2009
Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards
Pinnacle Book Achievement Award Winner, Best Health Book, 2008
National Indie Excellence Awards - Finalist Health Book of the Year 2009
Finalist in the How-To Category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Award-Winning Finalist in the Health category of the National Best Books 2009 Awards, sponsored by USA Book News.
BOOK REVIEWS AND ARTICLES
Los Angeles Times Magazine
--Los Angeles Times Magazine, Annie Gilbar, Editor in Chief
"What are the chances you'll never have to be there for someone in the hospital? Zero. At some point you'll be called into life-and-death matters. Now, Martine Ehrenclou helps us all with Critical Conditions... Her concise guide includes a workbook to apply the rules to your own situation. It's a godsend!"
Family Circle Magazine, April 17, 2009
"To be on the safe side, make sure you and those you care about follow the safety tips from Martine Ehrenclou's Critical Conditions."
See the inside page here.
Womans Day .com
Survive a Stint in the Hospital
These three tips will help you avoid a medical mixup
By Abigail L. Cuffey Posted October 02, 2009 from Woman's Day; November 3, 2009
You've heard the horror stories about medication mixups and exposure to serious infections. Martine Ehrenclou, author of Critical Conditions: The Essential Hospital Guide to Get Your Loved One Out Alive, tells you how not to become one of them.
Keeping the Doctor at Bay
Natural Health and Protection From Harm
by Whitney Hallberg
"Despite our best efforts, at some point, nearly everyone
has to make a visit to the hospital. Critical Conditions: The
Essential Hospital Guide to Get Your Loved One Out Alive (Lemon
Grove Press, 978-0-9815240-0-9) by Martine Ehrenclou is an important
book for family members of anyone who is in the hospital or who
is seriously ill.
Ehrenclou interviewed doctors, nurses, social workers, and families,
and she distills the information she gained into calming, practical
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer, PhD, for Reader Views
As a Psychologist who teaches college courses to nurses, I have to say this is one of the most valuable books I have come across. The author has really given us permission to be advocates for our family members who are in a hospital or any care-taking facility. "Critical Conditions" by Martine Ehrenclou is a book that I put on my must-read list for my nursing students. I appreciate the long hours and time the author put in to help the general population. Even as a professional, I felt she taught me things I had not even thought of...
"Critical Conditions: The Essential Hospital Guide to Get Your Loved One Out Alive" is a thoroughly positive guide to getting the best possible care inside a hospital. This ultimate reference guide, by Martine Ehrenclou, M.A., is ideal for current patients, prospective patients and their respective loved ones, friends and extended family members."
~ Michael A. Weiss
WATCH YOUTUBE VIDEO
Proactive Advocacy For Hospitalized Loved Ones
Posted by Michael Pflughoeft on Monday, January 17, 2011
Patient safety has been front and center in many discussions regarding healthcare reform and despite significant efforts by medical professionals, a recent HHS report on hospitalized Medicare patients found that one in seven patients experienced an adverse event such as excessive bleeding, a hospital-acquired infection or aspiration pneumonia. Those events, both preventable and not preventable, lead to about 180,000 deaths per year.
Critical Conditions: The Essential Hospital Guide to Get Your Loved One Out Alive by Martine Ehrenclou, M.A., gives partners in care a gameplan to make sure that your family member doesn’t add to the negative statistics.
This book has received numerous accolades including: Best Health Book of 2009 from the Allbooks Review Editor’s Choice Awards; Finalist in the Health Book of the Year 2000 — National Indie Excellence Awards; Finalist in the Health category of the National Best Books 2009 Awards, sponsored by USA Book News; and Winner of Mom’s Choice Award – Health/Fitness/Safety, 2010. In addition, every single reader review on Amazon is a glowing Five-Star endorsement – which is highly unusual, even for great products.
February 5, 2011
At one time or another a family member will end up in the hospital and we will be responsible for their well being. We seldom hear of favorable experiences but we certainly hear of many horror stories that put us into a state of fear hoping we'd never end up in the hospital ourselves.
Gone are the days of back rubs and personal assistance. Nursing shortages, budget cutbacks, incompetent staff, unclean environment and a whole gamut of issues prevail when a loved one is hospitalized. Because of this, family members and friends have to take on the responsibility for caregiving and advocacy. Sad as it may seem but it is the truth.
Martine Ehrenclou, through much research, personal experience, and talking with others, has compiled a comprehensive guide of what to do when a loved one is hospitalized. But, even more so, this book is important for all of us to read in the event we are hospitalized. It's important for us to know what really goes on and be receptive to accepting help from friends and family. We may feel that we are being a bother but trust me, after reading this book, you will accept the fact that these people are there for your best interest.
I commend Ehrenclou for writing this book. By sharing her knowledge she is helping hundreds of thousands of people making their hospital stay not only more pleasant but safe. Every patient needs an advocate and you might be it. Know what you are in for.
Curled Up With A Good Book
Barbara Bamberger Scott
This is a book you probably thought you'd already heard of, because it seems so obvious that it should have been written. Put together through hundreds of hours of interviews with medical personnel, it is the brainchild of Martine Ehrenclou, someone who - like so many of us - has had to deal with the vast labyrinthine hospital system without a roadmap in an attempt to get the best care for a family member or loved one. Ehrenclou decided to draw the roadmap.
Critical Conditions is a well-organized guide to getting your personal patient the care he or she needs and is paying for. The book would be good reading for any of us, because at any time, you could find yourself in the ER with a sick child or a friend who's just had an accident.
May 23, 2009
"Martine Enrenclou offers a practical, deliberate, and insightful guide for anyone faced with the heart wrenching prospect of having a loved one undergo hospitalization. Martine introduces you to the concept of patient advocacy and your place in that process. This is a book that you should purchase, familiarize yourself with, and place on the bookshelf for that likely time when you will need it. If you have an understanding of what you are up against from the beginning, the odds for your loved ones survival are greatly enhanced. It is a solid and practical book for almost anyone and well worth your time, money, and effort."
Health Front and Center
August 4, 2008
By Natalie Danford
"Still more wise words from medical personnel pepper the
pages of Critical Conditions..."
Life Saving Advice
By "Top Ten Amazon Reviewer" Rebecca Johnson
August 5, 2009
"I wish I would have had this guide when my husband, father and grandmother were in the hospital. Critical Conditions is written with a sense of care and concern. The advice goes beyond helpful hints and deals with life saving strategies.
Martine Ehrenclou presents a book that will encourage family members and friends to be more active in the patient's care. There is no need for patients to suffer needlessly or to be the victims of medication errors.
The Lakeland Times
April 10, 2009
Joyce Laabs -
'Critical Conditions' A book everyone should consider owning
Before getting into the review of "Critical Conditions - The Essential Hospital Guide to Get Your Loved One Out Alive", I want to make clear that this is not a book that bashes doctors and hospital personnel, instead it invites the reader to become an advocate for the hospitalized family member - to support the best possible medical care for your loved one.
It is impossible to touch on all the knowledge that is imparted, but if a loved one is hospitalized, be sure to have this book in hand.
Midwest Book Review
"Critical Conditions" is a must for anyone who wants
to be a boon to someone they care for instead of a bane. An especially
appropriate addition to personal and community library Health/Medicine
reference collections and supplemental reading lists, What can
you do to help a loved one's hospital stay be more effective?
"Critical Conditions: The Essential Hospital
Guide to Get Your Loved One Out Alive" is a
guide for readers to cutting through the common complications
that come up when dealing with someone's medical care. Preventing
errors, keeping communications open, assisting how one can, and
dealing with the bureaucracy are all covered.
Reviewed by Kam Aures for Rebeccas Reads
"The book essentially contains step-by-step information
and tips in dealing with all aspects of a hospital stay in order
to ensure that your loved one receives the best care possible.
The most important point that I got from reading the book was
to make sure that there is someone staying with the patient at
all times in order to look out for the patient and to help prevent
medical errors. Ehrenclou's handbook details all of the
steps that you need to take and the details that you need to write
down when talking to the nurses and doctors. Also included is
information of how to prevent medical errors, prevent infectious
diseases, prevent fatal falls, how to get past language barriers,
what to do if you live out of town, and other pertinent issues.
You can tell that the author is very passionate about the topic
at hand and she has left no stone unturned in her presentation
of the steps one needs to take to ensure that proper care is received.
I think that this book will be beneficial to anyone who has a
loved one in the hospital and also to students in nursing school
or medical school. There is a lot of useful advice in the book,
some of which could truly make a difference, especially to the
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
"At any time...something could occur that would send
me to the ICU or even a heart unit. I would then want my daughters
to go to my bookcase and bring Critical Conditions: The Essential
Hospital Guide to Get Your Loved One Out Alive with them on their
The book states clearly that the medical system is overworked
with not enough staff and the administrators watching the bottom
line because the insurance companies are screaming for cost cutting.
'A reported quarter of a million deaths in hospitals nationwide
were found to be preventable.' Think of that! Keeping this book
handy can keep your loved one from becoming a statistic.
It advises how and when to talk to the doctors. And to be certain
each and every doctor knows what is being prescribed for your
friend or family member. Be sure they are never alone and question
each and every drug they are given and what is its purpose. Check
that your patient is getting the proper tests or operation, not
one meant for the patient down the hall with a similar name. Check
their meal trays for the proper diet. Coax them to eat and don't
allow the tray to be whisked away before they know it is there.
So many vital issues are covered, it's impossible to list everything.
This guide is invaluable and I hope you never need to open it.
If you do, however, know that all the answers to your questions
are in here. And that you will be able to take your patient home
- rather than attend their funeral."
Reviews Written by
Marlys M. Styne - "Author of 'Reinventing Myself', 'Seniorwriting,' and 'Elder Expectations.'" (Chicago, IL USA)
January 3, 2009
This is a serious book well worth reading for anyone facing the need to deal with any personal or family hospital experience.
Read this book if you or a family member faces hospitalization. It is filled with valuable information and useful suggestions that we can't afford to ignore.
Book Review by Cheryl Ellis
"Hospital care has become hazardous to the patient's
health." The proven statistics of hospital error related
deaths are staggering!
Sad, but never more true than the crisis that exists today. Did
we know it was coming? I believe many of us did and those that
didn't, must not have listened to the news back in the late
70's, when many
healthcare representatives tried, in vain, to make the public
aware of the inevitable decline of care in the future. After the
'efficiency experts' recommendations were in, healthcare
staff was severely
downsized. Complete nursing care by trained professionals, became
a thing of the past.
The author, Martine Ehrenclou, has a mantra, "Your goal
is to support the best possible medical care for your loved one."
Either through sedation, stress or the illness itself, the patient
often does not have
the presence of mind or the strength needed to be observant or
understand the language of this foreign world. It has become imperative
that family or friend, stay with their loved one most of the
time, and in many cases, around the clock.
Read More - PDF...
Bookviews by Alan Caruba
My Picks of the Month
To Your Health!
No one wants to go to the hospital or have a loved one require
care, but it is a common enough experience. Critical
Conditions: The Essential Hospital Guide to Get Your Loved One
Out Alive ($19.95, Lemon Grove Press, Santa Monica,
CA, softcover) by Martine Ehrenclou is filled with excellent advice
that can prevent the kinds of accidents and problems that can
complicate or even endanger a stay. It is a step-by-step guide
based on more than 150 interviews with nurses, doctors, social
workers, and families. Briefly stated, family and friends need
to take an active role in every aspect of a patient's care. It's
not commonly known, but hospital care can be hazardous to a patient's
health. It is estimated that a quarter million deaths in hospitals
InjuryBoard.com, Promoting Safety, Protecting Rights
October 28, 2008
Book Review by Wayne Parsons
Martine Ehrenclou has made a significant contribution to health
care and her book will save lives. She has authored a new book
for patients and their loved ones that deals with going to the
hospital - and getting out alive. This handbook for patients should
be mandatory reading before and during any hospital stay.
Ms. Ehrenclou deals directly with practical advice for patients
about what to do to avoid being injured or killed by a medical
error during a hospital stay. First and foremost she warns that
a patient should have a friend with them at all times during their
stay to make sure that the right medicine is administered in the
right quantity and at the right time. This can be the difference
between life and death. The San
Francisco Business Review recommends the book as a practical
guide for patients.
San Francisco Business Times
September 15, 2008
"Health care can be dangerous to your health.
Well, you probably knew that. But a new book, "Critical Conditions:
The Essential Hospital Guide to Get Your Loved One Out Alive,"
says consumers need to have a family member or friend by the bedside
at all times when a loved one is hospitalized, to make sure the
process of care isn't fatal.
The guide, by Martine Ehrenclou, a writer and public relations/marketing
executive, is published by Lemon Grove Press. Ehrenclou says such
scrutiny is needed "to prevent medical errors, medication mistakes,
fatal falls, the spread of hospital-acquired infectious diseases
The book, based on 150 interviews with nurses, doctors, hospital
staffers and family members, is full of pragmatic advice in short,
specific sub-sections on topics like "Insist on Pain Management"
or "Introduce Yourself to the Primary Nurse."
The book's title is provocative, but the warning is similar to
one given for years by health-care quality experts. It's worth
a look - for business readers, consumers, hospital managers, maybe
even a politician or two."
If you've ever had a loved one hospitalized for any length of time, you know how agonizingly frustrating it can be to sit helplessly by, praying for things to turn out okay.This book is an incredible resource. It is definitely one to keep handy, just in case.
Story Circle Book Reviews
Book Review by Jennifer F. Belot
France boasts the best overall health care system in the world,
based on a 2000 ranking by the World Health Organization. With
its universal healthcare coverage and municipally run system,
the healthcare network ensures that all its citizens are afforded
an equal level of care without regard to social class or financial
The United States, on the other hand, is ranked 37th overall in
that same detailed report. In a medical system run by private
industry and conflicting agendas, the best interests of the patient
are sometimes regrettably overlooked, in order to achieve the
bottom line, financial success. The culprits are not the doctors,
whose oath requires that they "first do no harm,"
but rather in the privately run insurance companies, pharmaceutical
giants and politicians who've all staked out an interest
in the profit-driven healthcare system.
Having herself been a victim in the labyrinth of a misguided,
though well-meaning American healthcare system, Martine
Ehrenclou, M.A. has written Critical Conditions:
The Essential Hospital Guide to Get Your Loved One Out Alive.
Borne out of necessity, the idea for this book came after the
author experienced what she believes was the unnecessary demise
of both her mother and her godmother at the hands of an overloaded
and occasionally inept healthcare system.
This book is by no means an emphatic doctor-bashing recount;
instead, it is a matter-of-fact analysis of the American health
care system and a simple step-by-step way of averting seemingly
avoidable errors. The author herself states more than once that
she believes that health care professionals are doing the very
best they can; however, the inherently imperfect system makes
errors virtually unavoidable. After over 150 interviews with nurses,
doctors, social workers, and other hospital staff, Ehrenclou
repeatedly arrives at the same conclusion throughout the manuscript,
"you must have someone, a family member, in the hospital
with the patient at all times. Hospital care is in crisis."
In 17 concise chapters, Ms. Ehrenclou writes
from a patient-focused approach, which encourages family members
to be proactive and vigilant in the care of their loved ones.
The author does not purport to have all the answers; however she
does bring very informative and helpful suggestions on how to
compensate for overworked doctors and nurses, who are physically
and emotionally spent. The author provides critical suggestions
to potential caregivers, in an era when patients-to-nurses ratio
is at an all-time high, despite laws implemented in many states
to counter this troubling trend.
Critical Conditions puts a decisively strong
emphasis on communication strategies and avid documentation. This
book simultaneously acts as a handbook, a diary of patient progress,
a procedural manual, and a conversation reminder for the reader.
The 80-page Quick Reference Guide at the back of the book contains
a section for notes, a glossary of hospital terminology, and a
list of useful websites for further research. It is an essential
tool for anyone with a loved one in the hospital. Why, you may
ask, is such a guide important? The simple truth is that a sick
person under heavy medication and debilitating pain cannot have
the presence of mind and fortitude of will to advocate for themselves
against professional healthcare representatives.
This book is separated into three essential parts, the first
of which is the informative introduction, which teaches family
members how to be effective advocates by equipping the reader
with a deconstructed breakdown of the hospital system. She explains
the importance of taking detailed notes and provides space in
the book in which to do so. There are two whole chapters dedicated
to explaining the roles of the different hospital staff, from
the primary nurse to the specializing physician in the care of
patients. Her pragmatism is bold and intelligent, as she states
in one instance that since it is proven that attentive and present
family members garner better care, then one should bring cookies
and candy with a thank you card for the nursing staff to show
Three chapters are dedicated to the prevention of medical errors,
tragic falls and infectious diseases such as pneumonia and MRSA,
all of which are alarmingly prevalent and more or less avoidable
in the US system of healthcare. According to the Institute of
Medicine, "A hospital patient can expect, on average, to
be subjected to more than one medication error each day."
Thus, an attentive family member will take all the precautionary
measures listed by Ms. Ehrenclou to avoid being just another statistic.
Some common sense advice, such as wash your hands and avoid transferring
bacteria from inside to outside and vice versa may seem redundant,
but bear repeating because, as healthy human beings, we can sometimes
become insensitive and carelessly forgetful of the simple things.
As Critical Conditions emphasizes a patient-focused
approach, the last eight chapters of the book are dedicated to
the patient and their family. With useful guidance on such issues
as cultural differences, language barriers and what to do if you
live out of town, this book gently guides patients and their families
in the right direction to maximize care and well-being in a time
of emotional and physical crisis. It also includes a section on
how to best utilize the services of the hospital social worker
and how to not only support and care for your loved one, but also
how to take care of yourself in this time of trial. The sensitive
issue of what to do and the options to consider in the instance
of critical care is also addressed with informative captions on
HIPAA Laws, Advance Directives, Power of Attorney, Living Will
What I love about this book is its positive outlook and appeal
to the readers, as blatantly captured in the subtitle, The
Essential Hospital Guide to Get Your Loved One Out Alive
(notice that last word). And so, the last chapter, Discharge Planning
and Aftercare, focuses on what to do after your loved one has
made it through.
Hosea 4:6 says "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge."
This powerful word is reiterated by the author who says in lay
terms that the "...greatest antidote to a state of helplessness
is knowledge". When your loved ones are lying in a hospital
bed, will you simply let medical care happen to them, or will
you be a knowledgeable, educated, proactive family member, firmly
equipped with the tools to accompany your fervent prayers for
the healing touch of Jesus?