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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Ira J. Blumen, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This is a significantly expanded third edition (1st edition 1983) of a comprehensive wilderness medicine textbook. The 56 chapters are written by 93 contributors with various backgrounds in the medical specialties and public and governmental agencies. Topics include medical emergencies, as well as appropriate legal and ethical issues that may arise in the wilderness. A "how-to" approach addresses the different clinical situations that may develop. Chapters also explain how many environmental hazards occur and how they may be avoided through preparation and injury prevention. The book also addresses special concerns for women and children.
Purpose: This book serves as a comprehensive reference for health care professionals who are called upon to treat illnesses and injuries that may originate in the wilderness environment. In addition, the book serves to educate physicians and other readers in hopes of minimizing the risks while in the great outdoors.
Audience: This book is intended for emergency physicians (residents and attendings) and allied health care professionals. It also may be beneficial to any primary care physician or specialist who may encounter environmental emergencies.
Features: Illustrations are mostly black-and-white drawings of very good quality. Charts and tables are presented well, in a very readable and useable format. There are a great deal more color pictures in this edition, depicting many of the common causes of wilderness emergencies as well as common clinical presentations. References are plentiful.
Assessment: This is an excellent reference for any physician who may be presented with a patient with a wilderness or environmental emergency. It serves as a solid framework for the various topics and includes extensive references for those who want to learn more. The range of topics and the depth of the chapters is impressive. The diverse nature of medical emergencies that may arise from exposure to the elements (land, sea, and air) is very well presented. This book would be a valuable addition to any emergency medicine or primary care library.