Outdoor Medical Emergency Handbook: First Aid for Travelers, Backpackers and Adventurers (Paperback)


“An essential and important guide for anyone of any skill level planning to spend quality time outdoors.”
— Chicago Tribune

Outdoor Medical Emergency Handbook provides easy-to-follow comprehensive advice on how to prevent, treat and care for illnesses and injuries while away from immediate medical response. Using accurate drawings and a step-by-step format, the authors describe how to effectively assess a situation and what actions to take. The logical design of the book helps readers find the information they need quickly to address the most critical medical emergencies wherever they may occur.

This revised edition incorporates the latest developments in technology and emergency procedures, specifically:

  • • ALS (Advanced Life Support) and ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support) protocols to reflect changes made by international resuscitation authorities over the past five years
  • • Body area trauma and medical illness emergency protocols
  • • Drug names to make them internationally applicable
  • • Technological references to include smartphones and apps
  • • Recommended kit lists to take into account changes in medical practice over the past five years.

Other useful emergency tools in the book are a Pain Relief Ladder to assess and treat pain, the Glasgow Coma Scale and AVPU to assess consciousness, the Lake Louise Acute Mountain Sickness Score Chart and a Guide to Commonly Used Drugs.

The Outdoor Medical Emergency Handbook is essential equipment for anyone traveling, whether camping with the family or making a solo assault on the Himalayas.

Last updated on July 15, 2024 12:02 am


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[Review of previous edition:] Very clear and detailed and not for the squeamish. (Annie Boulanger Burnaby Now 2010-06-26)

[Review of previous edition:] Plan, prepare and prevent. That would be the common theme of the advice that fills the Outdoor Medical Emergency Handbook. [It] gives practical, step by step tips that will help the adventure-seeker come home alive from even the most ambitious expeditions. But just in case your best-laid plans come to naught, this handy book comes with a waterproof cover and backpacker-tough paper. Inside, handy advice is broken down into detailed tips for dealing with life-threatening injuries, tropical diseases and the far more common boo boos. Briggs and Mackenzie also delve into high-altitude sickness, hypothermia, dehydration, animals, insects and drowning. Between their pain relief ladder on the inside front cover and their antibiotic guide on the back cover, the authors use flow charts, colour photos and diagrams to help the reader quickly understand what they need to know. Which is a good thing, because anyone looking for a doctor in the wilderness can expect to
find themselves, um, up the creek. (Trent Edwards Calgary Herald 2010-07-01)

[Review of previous edition:] The essential medical guide for the amateur outdoorsman…. The handbook’s value comes from its depth of knowledge and accessibility. Written in simple language that anyone can understand, the book’s clear layout helps to guide readers through the medical processes described… If you’re out “roughing it” where there no access to doctors, the Outdoor Medical Emergency Handbook could just prove to be a life saver. (Jon Spratt Muskoka Sun 2011-05-20)

[Review of previous edition:] Doctors Brigg and MacKenzie have collaborated on this extensive medical guide, creating a book that could save someone’s life…. The information is supplied in clear language and logical order. They provide plenty of valuable suggestions for the planning phase to ensure that you have considered the types of medical concerns that come up. Frostbite may not be relevant for your trip to the desert but you will want to read what they say about sunstroke…. There are plenty of diagrams to help with the explanations and cross-references to other parts of the book for more detail. Presented in a compact size with a waterproof cover, this is definitely something to take along on any journey. (North Shore News 2011-02-13)

[Review of previous edition:] The authors describe how to effectively assess a situation and what actions to take. (Real Fishing 2010-05-01)

“If you haven’t taken any courses on backcountry first aid or if you’re traveling with friends who know nothing, then this book — Outdoor Medical Emergency Handbook would be very useful. It’s been written by two doctors and is now in its second edition. Included are the most recent developments in technology (smartphone apps) and emergency procedures. Inside the 240 page book is easy to follow advice — on what to do when things go wrong… You’ll also find flow charts related to all sorts of medical issues including hemorrhage and shock, chest pain, diabetic emergencies, burns, high altitude and hot climate as examples. It tells you what signs and symptoms to look for and what the treatment should be. Some of it will be beyond the scope of the “average Joe” but much of it will be very useful — and comforting. There’s an entire section on emergency medical procedures and although you’ll unlikely be inserting a chest drain you should be able to assess a person’s conscious state using
the Glasgow Coma Scale. The appendices are full of useful information including a guide to commonly used drugs, an immunization guide, an acute mountain sickness score card as well as a vital signs monitoring chart. Even the inside covers have useful reference material — a pain relief ladder on one and an antibiotic guide on the other. The bottom line — you will learn a lot from the book whatever your skill level!” (Leigh McAdam Hike Bike Travel Blog 2016-03-24)

If you’re interested in brushing up on how to handle backcountry medical emergencies (or perhaps even emergencies while traveling internationally) but you don’t have the time or money to take a full blown medical course, this is a really awesome crash course in what to do when things do not go as planned. (Beth 3Up Adventures Blog 2016-05-26)

This is not only a practical book, but visually it’s quite interesting, and makes for good reading at the campfire. (Kovas Palubinskas Midwest Basecamp Blog 2016-06-08)

This title is an authoritative one stop for all your emergency needs, questions and queries while on any expedition with detailed resources. The book is not only fascinating but meticulously put together. I was impressed with the array of information provided for travelers and adventurers and the general readability of the text as well. (Lili DeBarbieri Lili DeBarbieri Blog 2016-06-01)

[Review of previous edition:] An essential and important guide for anyone of any skill level planning to spend quality time outdoors. (June Sawyers Chicago Tribune 2010-05-30)

About the Author

Spike Briggs, BSc, FRCA, is a specialist in intensive care medicine, an advisor on medical support for ocean yacht races and an instructor of advanced life support.

Campbell Mackenzie, RD, FRCP, was a surgeon commander in the Royal Navy and Royal Naval Reserve. He is now an instructor and examiner for the Royal Yachting Association First Aid Course.

Outdoor Medical Emergency Handbook: First Aid for Travelers, Backpackers and Adventurers (Paperback), Firefly Books

Price: C $37.20
as of July 15, 2024 12:02 am
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Current Price C $37.20 July 15, 2024
Highest Price C $50.64 February 10, 2024
Lowest Price C $14.20 June 11, 2024
Since January 16, 2024

Last price changes

C $37.20 July 15, 2024
C $25.25 July 9, 2024
C $14.64 June 30, 2024
C $14.39 June 23, 2024
C $14.20 June 11, 2024

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