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Medicine for Mountaineering: And Other Wilderness Activitites Paperback – January 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

JAMES A. WILKERSON, M.D., a mountaineer, whitewater rafter, backpacker, scuba diver, and skier, is the chairman of the Continuing Medical Education Committee. He is on the editorial board and is a section editor for the Wilderness and Environmental Medicine journal. He lives in Park City, Utah. KEN ZAFREN, M.D., FAAEM, FACEP, FAWM is an emergency physician in Anchorage, Alaska. He is the medical director of the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group, and a member of the clinical faculty at Stanford University Medical Center in California. He represents the United States on the International Commission for Mountain Emergency Medicine and is the associate medical director for the Himalayan Rescue Association of Nepal. ERNEST E. MOORE, M.D., FACS, FCCM has been director of the Rocky Mountain Regional Trauma Center at Denver Health since 1976, and is vice-chairman of surgery at the University of Colorado, Denver. With over 1100 publications, he is editor of the World Journal of Emergency Surgery and associate editor of the Journal of Trauma and American Journal of Surgery.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 397 pages
  • Publisher: Mountaineers Books; 6 edition (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594850763
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594850769
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #715,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Donald Hyatt on February 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At the outset, I will openly state my perspective on this and related books. I am not a medical professional. At the same time, I have long been an outdoor enthusiast, active in a number of different outdoor sports. I firmly believe that all active outdoor enthusiasts should seek and learn information to be able to provide reasonable self-care and care for members of their group who may become ill or injured. In prior instances I have been called upon to make use of some of my knowledge to treat myself and others, but fortunately not in severe or life threatening cases. My experience has been enough to give me a keen appreciation of how important good references are. With that general background in mind, I have found the topic of Wilderness First Aid and Medicine to be one of several survival related topics that is fascinating.

The sixth edition of Medicine for Mountaineering is the third edition of this work I have purchased. In many ways I believe the work has been improved. The organization of the book has been, and continues to be very well thought out, rendering the information accessible. The writing and editing are top notch, such that the actual content is clearly presented. Also, the expansion and addition of a number of chapters was well executed such that valuable additional information has been added in the characteristically clear style. (These expansions include new or expanded chapters on Rescue and Evacuation, drowning, lightning injuries, avalanche injuries, expansion and division of the chapter on bites and stings, and other chapters.) Oddly the one feature which would significantly improve the rapid utilization of this book in the field, diagnostic and treatment algorithm charts, is largely missing. There are a few, but they are not really sufficient.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Evan on June 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
I'm an ICU nurse who backpacks, skis, and sea kayaks. I help take groups of new backpackers into the woods twice a year. I came across an old addition of this book at a lodge in the Adirondacks and liked it very much. I've since bought this addition and after having it out at work some co-workers have bought it as well.

The book is extremely practical and realistic. Those in the medical field will be very comfortable with the jargon / text book style and will appreciate some of the practical solutions to things like how to make a seal for your home made chest tube out of the finger of a rubber glove... all the while muttering about how if it's gotten to that point you really are screwed. Readers without a medical background would still get the majority of the important stuff, practical splits, reductions, how to sled someone out, etc.

Since it was brought up in another review I will mention this: I think providing indication / contraindication is merely a prompt to inform you what you might need to then inquire about before you head out. I kind of think that not having the medication dosing isn't such a bad thing. If you are really that interested, there are better ways to get this info: the best being your primary care physician. Remember, you may not fall into standard dosing range. Also there may be untoward side effects which might affect you more than the average individual. Or a drug interaction with another medication you are taking which could mess you up even worse than you began. If you were in a pinch you should just use the standard dose of an indicated drug. If you are bringing meds with you in the event you might need them, dosing info should be included and could be used for anyone else needing the med in a pinch. Don't forget, in an emergency you will forget.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By EMT-Pete on June 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While I have no experience with previous editions, I must offer substantial praise for this book. Like the previous reviewer, my medical library also includes Auerbach's Medicine for the Outdoors and Forgey's Wilderness Medicine. All three texts have their strengths with this text ranking only slightly behind Auerbach's in my opinion.

In short, Forgey's text is much shorter but includes very practical tips for gear and medications, detailing alternative uses for most everything. It would be easier to pack than the other two and is easy to reference.

Auerbach and Wilkerson provide more extensive medical information. Wilkerson's layout is easy to navigate and can also be quickly referenced. However, I personally find Auerbach easier to read and his diagrams more helpful. Auerbach's medication index provides a quick dosing reference (lacking in this text) and is well organized by symptoms/indications but does not provide any further info or contraindications (included in this text).

Finally, certain advanced techniques such as suturing seem unnecessary in these books. The layperson should not be attempting such skills, especially in a wilderness setting, and especially if they are learning them from a textbook alone; and advanced providers with proper training probably don't need the reference at all. This and other examples may require an untrained reader to filter out information that would not be terribly relevant. There are numerous alternatives for wound closure and I can think of no 'last resort' situation that would require an amateur suture attempt in the field. However, for general knowledge of such procedures, these texts provide excellent background.

Comparisons aside, Medicine for Mountaineering serves its purpose as an instructional and reference text. You can't be too prepared. As mentioned in the previous reviewer's excellent commentary, perhaps no book has all the answers. This is an excellent place to start.
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