Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Medical Emergencies

A long time ago, I was a lifeguard. This meant annual updates of all my certification, especially first aid and CPR. And every year some aspect of this training changed dramatically. The number of chest compressions to breaths changed. Airway opening techniques no longer flex the spine. I even recall my first year of training required the placement of fingers in the mouth of a seizure victim, to prevent the biting off of their tongue.

Thank goodness things change. I like my hands.

My concern today is for more general treatment knowledge. I’m not a professional anymore; my medical training should be more appropriate to my lifestyle. To care for myself and my friends in emergency situations, supplemented by regular check-ups.

I want a guide book with a solid foundation of the basics. I want clarity without condescension and strong organization to the content. I want a book that covers first aid, environment-specific injuries, common and life-threatening medical conditions, as well as rescue techniques.

Enter the woodsy-named Buck Tilton. As co-founder of the Wilderness Medicine Institute of the National Outdoor Leadership School in Wyoming, his prolific wilderness writing has led to the following book:

Wilderness First Responder: how to recognize, treat, and prevent emergencies in the backcountry.

Written with nearly a score of medical professionals, this textbook includes clear anatomical illustrations, discussions on the legal ramifications of first aid, and practical suggestions for medicine without medical facilities. Chapters include psychological trauma, obstetric and gender-specific maladies, and unique scenario guides - lightening strikes, diving injuries, and unusual animal bites. The glossary is excellent, as is the guide to assembling a wilderness medical kit.

I think I need a copy for my personal survival collection.

If like me , you find this topic entertaining, you may enjoy reading the following:

Ambulance Girl: how I saved myself by becoming an EMT, by Jane Stern

"Ambulance Girl is an inspiring story by a woman who found, somewhat late in life, that "in helping others I learned to help myself." It is a book to be treasured and shared. " - Publisher

Also a feature film starring Cathy Bates

Silent Alarm: on the edge with a deaf EMT, by Steven Schrader

"For 15 years, Steven Schrader worked as a firefighter and an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in Atlanta, Georgia. There, he faced the day-to-day stress created by having to deal with nonstop human catastrophe, one moment administering to terribly hurt accident victims, the next talking down a suicidal person from a rooftop. Added to these difficulties were his own personal struggles, not the least being the bias he experienced because of his severe hearing loss. Silent Alarm presents his no-frills, stunning account of survival in a profession with a notoriously high burn-out rate, and the good that he did as a topnotch EMT." - Publisher

Tomorrow We Die, by Shawn Grady

"Paramedic Jonathan Trestle doesn't quite to know what to do when a man who appears close to dying utters a gibberish sentence, thrusts a paper full of incomprehensible notations into his hand, and tells Jonathan to “give this to Martin.” Trying to find out more about the man, not to mention the mysterious Martin, Jonathan stumbles into a murder mystery that threatens to cut his own life short. Although it's a bit rough around the edges, Grady's novel should appeal to fans of fast-paced thrillers with a medical theme (Michael Palmer fans, for example, should do well here). The author, a firefighter and paramedic, captures the novel's milieu perfectly..." Booklist

Catch a Shadow, by Patricia Potter

"When paramedic Kirke Palmer agreed to the deathbed request of a hit and run victim, she thought she was doing the right thing. All she had to do was deliver an envelope--and keep the police out of it. Little did she realize that her good-will gesture would make her the target of a cold-blooded killer." - Publisher


  1. Wow. So many books so little time. Of all the blogs I had to stumble across... I can't handle it. ;)

    Seeing as this is a library blog you might not be interested, but if you are I know of a link party that seems right up your alley.

    Friday Wishlist @ literarysoundtrack.blogspot.com

    On Friday's they've started having a link up where you can connect with other people (and they with you) about books you want to read but haven't gotten to yet.


    Here's the link http://literarysoundtrack.blogspot.com/search/label/Friday%20Wish-List

  2. Amazing little books but i like the most titled book "Tommorow We Die".i love this title and very truthful title.........