What do you do if you're 25 miles into the backcountry and a member of your hiking party develops appendicitis? Or if you're nearing the summit of a 14,000-foot peak and your climbing partner suffers a ruptured cornea from the altitude? If you thought ahead, you'd pull out your copy of Medicine for Mountaineering. This is probably the top book to carry for serious backcountry injuries. There are other titles that cover basic first aid, but not with this book's depth and specificity.
Ten M.D.s with a fondness for wilderness outings contributed to the chapters, and it shows: medical jargon abounds. But don't be intimidated by words like thrombophlebitis or pneumothorax--you might need to know how to treat blood clots in the legs or a ruptured lung. Most of the injuries covered have their origin in high-altitude mishaps, whether it be kidney infections from dehydration or blunt head trauma from falling rocks. Other ailments like appendicitis and heart disorders are less common, but if they strike in the backcountry, it's vital to know what to do. The range of medical advice stretches all the way to administering intravenous drips and performing tube thoracostomies (inserting a drain valve into a patient's fluid-filled lungs). Though the authors warn that such procedures should be performed by a trained physician, if it's a life-and-death situation miles from any hospital, these instructions could make all the difference. Other topics covered include: soft-tissue injuries, fractures, burns, gastrointestinal disorders, neural disorders, infections, allergies, heat and solar injuries, animal bites and stings, and cold injuries. A list of useful prescription drugs for mountaineering is also valuable.
Who could benefit from this book? Anyone venturing into the outdoors, but particularly those bound for remote locations who've already mastered basic first aid. Emergency medical technicians will find some of the topics familiar, but even they won't be expert in all the injuries outlined here. At 20 ounces, Medicine for Mountaineering is worth the extra weight in your pack. --Demian McLean --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Beyond first aid, this is the medical bibles for backcountry adventurers. Written by a team of climber/physicians and considered the authoritative reference on backcountry medicine. Any trip into remote territory calls for earnest planning and foresight, including preparing for the possibility of illness or injury. A basic knowledge of first aid can help; but how would you treat an appendicitis attack high on a foreign mountain? What if one of your companions had a stroke, or contracted hepatitis on a boat in mid-ocean? Medicine for Mountaineering picks up where first aid manuals leave off. Written by a team of climber-physicians, this fully updated edition of a classic provides expert information as well as procedures on major and minor medical emergencies. Areas covered include: Diagnosis, psychology of accidents, preventive measures. Traumatic injuries--fractures, burns, soft tissue injuries--heat, cold, altitude. Diseases, pain, infections, allergies. Medications, medical kits, legal considerations. Authoritative and comprehensive, Medicine for Mountaineering should be on the equipment list of any hiker, climber, boater, and outdoor user who ventures more than 24 hours beyond medical attention.