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Outdoor emergency care: comprehensive pre-hospital care for non urban settings, 4th edn
  1. C Laird
  1. Associate Editor, Prehospital Care; claird{at}basics-scotland.org.uk

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    US National Ski Patrol and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. (Pp 938; price not stated). Jones and Bartlett, 2003. ISBN 0-7637-1715-0

    This is an impressive textbook of 938 pages covering virtually every area that you would want to know about in outdoor emergency care.

    It is a manual used as part of the teaching of National Ski Patrol Members in the United States. The book has been produced in co-operation with The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. There has been a huge amount of work put into this book and it is obviously part of an extremely well designed teaching package, which also includes instructor manuals, question test banks, student workshops, instructors CD ROM, and online refresher guide.

    The text is well illustrated with appropriately laid out pictures and covers all you would expect to find in a textbook covering emergencies in hazardous outdoor situations particularly ski slopes and mountains. Many are series of illustrations covering practical procedures. There are appropriate introductions on preparation and communication with the emergency services, patient assessment then comprehensive sections on management of trauma by well accepted systems.

    The book also covers common medical emergencies, snowboarding and mountain biking injuries, and then undertakes a system by system look at the less life threatening injuries that could be come across in the outdoors. They even cover psychiatric emergencies, drug overdose, use of illicit drugs, and weapons of mass destruction. There are sections on paediatric emergencies and mass casualty management.

    While being a wonderful book—and something that any of us who work in the prehospital situation would love to look at and would learn at least something from—I would suggest that there is not a particular audience in this country who would find the book specific for their practice. I feel it is too detailed and comprehensive for ski patrollers and mountain rescue teams in the United Kingdom, much of it is not relevant to ambulance service paramedics and would only be relevant to a small number of doctors working in this field who may well want to have an even greater depth of knowledge of certain specific topics than is covered in this book.

    My personal recommendation is that this would be a nice book to borrow from the library and therefore having it in your local medical library where you could have the opportunity to dip into it from time to time would be wonderful. It is also a good book for some to have for reference.

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