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M Colquhoun, P Jevon. (£15.99). Butterworth Heinemann, 2001. ISBN 0-7506-4249-1
I have a thing about “whinging” GPs (despite the fact that my three children believe that it is me). I get really irritated by the person who stands up at a clinical meeting and tells his hospital colleagues “that's all right for you in your Ivory Tower but out there in the real world”. So when I saw this book I thought is this another attempt by primary care to demonstrate its need to be independent of our hospital colleagues? We have an excellent manual produced by The Resuscitation Council—why do we need this? Then I sat down, took my cynic's hat off, and looked at the situation once again. I got out my Advanced Life Support Course Manual and looked through it and thought to myself—I do not carry adenosine. Blood gas analysis in the patients bedroom is a tricky procedure, the cardiac arrest team is usually me and an ambulance crew if things go well and post-resuscitation care consists of getting the patient to hospital as quickly as possible—with ventilatory support if necessary.
There are significant sections of the Advanced Life Support Manual that are not relevant to GPs and therefore there probably is a need for a book about resuscitation in primary care. I could now spend the next two or three pages giving you reasons why The Resuscitation Council should think about an ALS Course—specifically for out of hospital practitioners. I will resist the temptation—it may however be worth thinking about.
“Resuscitation in primary care” not only goes over all the relevant material with regard to prehospital cardiac resuscitation but also covers resuscitation of infants, children, and the newly born—in my experience areas that give rise to a lot of worries in prehospital care practitioners. It does all this in 132 A5 size pages of reasonably large type therefore it is not a long read. It contains all the European Resuscitation Council Algorithms relevant to Pre-hospital Care Resuscitation and covers all the aspects of resuscitation in relevant detail and also covers anaphylaxis. Therefore this book could easily be used as a manual for a prehospital ALS course.
My only criticism would be the method of LMA insertion described in the book. This is not the method recommended by the manufacturers.
This book is worth keeping in mind for all those who teach cardiac resuscitation in prehospital care.