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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Phillip M. Harter, MD, FACEP (Stanford University Medical Center)
Description: This is a small pocket-sized handbook for basic first aiders. It covers 28 common emergencies and has two sets of differential diagnoses, "angina vs. heart attack" and "hypoglycemia vs. hyperglycemia."
Purpose: The author designed the book for newly trained first aiders. This does not purport to be a first aid manual, but rather serves as a reminder. Although the objectives are worthy, this book falls short.
Audience: The primary audience is newly trained first aiders and persons taking a first aid course. It is written at a level well below basic EMTs in the U.S. The author is cited as being the National Training Officer, Paramedic Rescue Services and Paramedic, Surrey Medical Flying Squad.
Features: Every two pages of this book has a different "emergency situation" with adjacent pages left blank for notes. There are minimal black-and-white line drawings, essentially used to describe various sections on each page. (Eyes drawn on the page to indicate these are things you might see, a stick figure sitting, indicating the patient should be seated, etc.) The text uses British terms and may be difficult for Americans to understand, especially those with minimal medical training. Although the size is attractive, the book is rather bland. The table of contents is adequate, although there is no index. References are minimal, at best.
Assessment: The book is mostly diagnosis-based, rather than symptom-based. Each emergency situation is presented in an overly simplistic manner to the point of being dangerous. It has first aiders doing things they are generally not allowed to do in this country, such as dispensing medications. On the other hand, it does not encourage simple treatment modalities, such as oxygen for angina. There is very little, if any, reason to obtain this book.