From the Publisher: May 28 1990

Not even the best-staged TV-doctor series can convey the emotional intensity, the gruesome tableaux and the technical wizardry of a hospital emergency room. To capture the horror and heroics for this week's cover, we dispatched photographers to seven hospitals in seven cities. Their assignment: to stake out some of the country's busiest emergency rooms and record the minute-by- minute drama on film.

At Highland General Hospital in Oakland, Chuck Nacke found a horrific scene. Both trauma rooms were full for several hours. One doctor, soaked with sweat, massaged the hearts of two patients and later almost climbed onto the chest of...

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