BOOK REVIEW

SAS Emergency Medic SAS Active Library: Emergency Medic
by Barry Davies BEM
pub. HarperCollins, 2001
Paperback, 236 pages, 9.99
ISBN 0 00 710230 5

There was once a time when St. John 's Ambulance first aid courses seemed all the rage, but judging by some of the occasional news snippets we hear, the general public are woefully lacking in basic first aid knowledge.

For the serious outdoors person St. John's training is still probably the best route, but if you do not have the inclination then the plastic jacketed Emergency Medic would be a good addition to the kit bag, and essential reading at least once.

As the introductory sections point out, one of the great burdens for anyone injured while in a remote area is being afraid of the injuries themselves; having a modicum of medical knowledge will ease those fears. Reassuringly the author informs us that the human body has amazing recuperative capacity.

The opening section is really a 'key' to emergency assessment using a simple flow chart while the very first chapter deals with emergency action - things like mouth to mouth, drowning and the recovery position, for example.

The remainder of the chapters are specific to: wounds, dislocations and fractures, burns, diseases, food and water contamination diseases (covers fungi poisoning too), enviromental medical problems, dangerous wildlife (nasty wee beasties to stings), evacuation and rescue, travel preparation and planning, and medical packs.

Bottom line...
Although the book is 'not intended to be a comprehensive first aid manual but a guide to essential life-saving procedures and techniques for outdoor situations', at ten pounds can any outdoor activity organiser or person not afford to possess a copy of Emergency Medic? Having bought a copy it might then be worth dipping into it from time to time to increase your medical knowledge in readiness for the great outdoors.

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