Medic:Saving Lives from Dunkirk to Afghanistan

Discussion in 'Survival Medicine' started by chelloveck, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Because this review fits well in the medical forum, have reproduced it here too.

    I'm presently reading Medic:Saving Lives from Dunkirk to Afghanistan. by John Nichol and John Rennell, It is a history of war medicine and field surgery under combat conditions from Dunkirk to Afghanistan. Rather than dealing with grand deals with the guts and grime of rendering first aid, and rescucitation surgery in combat. It's a very sobering book.

    Medic by John Nichol and Tony Rennell: review - Telegraph

    I would recommend the book to preppers who want to prepare for the possibility of gunshot and other trauma wounds in a PAW or lesser hostile environment.

    Having bandages and medicines in preps is a good thing, and should not be discouraged...but their usefullness is diminished without the knowledge and skills to apply them. The least that preppers should do is to become first aid competent, and have at hand useful references to draw upon if need be.

    First aid training is not just a once in a lifetime innoculation needs reinforcement and practice, else knowledge and skills degrade with lack of use/practice. The training should not merely just be in developing individual first aider skills, but should be incorporated into group training exercises. Initial treatment and stabilisation, evacuation and definitive treatment should be integral aspects of training exercise planning, conduct, assessment and review.

    One of the things that I learned was that many surgical instruments and apparatus can be improvised, given time, given the resources, and given the knowledge of what they do and how they work. It is ever so much easier to have a stock of off the shelf equipment, but, as on the Burma Railway...that is not always possible, so surgeons hand fabricated instruments (successfully) from the most unlikely of materials to do lifesaving surgery. Read and learn from those who did the impossible under conditions that were improbably hostile. (A subject the book covers very comprehensively)

    A survival group that has a General Practitioner in it should feel fortunate: a general or trauma surgeon would be priceless.

    In a PAW situation, survival groups should screen refugees for medical personnel, and should evaluate people who are Nurses Midwifery & Obstets nurses; surgical nurses and generalist community nurses. Paramedics are another source of useful skill and knowledge.

    What if fate doesn't send doctors, nurses or paramedics your way......Then, think laterally...Veterinary surgeons...and dental surgeons. Even a pharmacist will have a general idea of disease processes and would be a useful supplement to the Medical effort.

    Most preppers and survival groups usually make provision for FAKs, and will tend to develpop the FAK not just as a booboo papercut quality kit. It would be worthwhile having a basic selection of general surgery non disposable / reusable instruments. You may not have a doctor in your group Pre Paw, but it would be a tragedy if you were able to secure a doctor, without having the proper kit for them to operate with.

    In your group's preps should desireably be a purpose designed sick bay, (or at least a space that could be easily adapted to an operating space that can desireably be kept sterile as possible) with appropriate lighting and instrument and dressing autoclaving facilities. autoclaving can be improvised, but purpose designed equipment is much more efficient and convenient.

    These may seem rather extravagant wishlist suggestions, but what price do you put on your life or the lives of those that you love. Start with the simple stuff, the essentials and the most likely case option requirements, and then work outwards from there. <!-- google_ad_section_end -->

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