I was given the privilege of reviewing two new interactive eBooks: The Survival Doctor's Guide to Burns and The Survival Doctor's Guide to Wounds by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. (a.k.a. "The Survival Doctor") who is also the owner of TheSurvivalDoctor.com, a site that I recommend.
I should point out that I have no medical training whatsoever. In fact, I'm notorious for telling my kids to "go see your mother" anytime they mention a potential health problem, unless I have no other choice!
Since I was planning on purchasing these books anyway, I was ready to dig in. Because I have the attention span of a gnat most of the time (especially with respect to medical issues) I decided to start with the shorter eBook, The Survival Doctor's Guide to Burns...
The book starts out as I would have expected--with some added benefits--in that it explains how to treat burns, the types of burns, and complications; generally what you would get from most burn treatment resources.
Unfortunately, most publicly-consumable medical texts stop right there. The Survival Doctor knows that's not what we, as preppers, are looking for. We need something that goes a bit further because we understand that medical attention may not be readily available when needed the most.
As such, the book discusses a variety of additional topics such as wound debridement, making burn dressings, using natural resources such as aloe vera and honey, sterilizing instruments, and more. I actually feel like I learned something!
I do also appreciate The Survival Doctor's ability to share his thought processes on burn treatment. In particular, he makes it plain as day what you should do, step-by-step, to properly treat and assess any burn. In my opinion, a calm and direct approach goes a long way to proper treatment from a layman such as myself.
Now, for The Survival Doctor's Guide to Wounds...
This book is laid out similarly to the Guide to Burns book. As you would expect, it starts with an easy to follow outline for proper wound care, including stopping the bleeding, determining if it's life threatening, assessing damage, and cut treatment.
Additional critical topics are also covered, such as bite wounds, punctures, and stab wounds. The Survival Doctor discusses exactly what should be done in each of these situations. Other topics covered include pressure dressings, tourniquets, and special situations (e.g., mouth cuts, scalp wounds, etc). He also explains the differences between blood from arteries and veins, why it's important, and what to do.
One thing that is a bit different from the Guide to Burns is that this book includes a "Quick Overview for Emergencies" that can be used as an easily referenced decision making tool; I would have preferred this page to be at or near the beginning of the book for faster access but I understand the need for some education before being able to use the quick reference sheet.
I have yet to cover the interactive aspect of these books. The Survival Doctor intentionally included many dozens of links (both internal and to his website) that allow the reader to immediately jump directly to another location in the book that expands on the topic without interrupting the flow of thought. Oftentimes online videos are also referenced in the book where pertinent. I must say that at first I did not think I would like the interactive features at all; after working through each book they have started to grow on me.
Overall, I particularly enjoyed his candid speak, something that is desperately missing from the medical community. The Survival Doctor does a good job of relaying his train of thought to these issues and the books are easy to follow. I did notice, however, that the Guide to Wounds book tends to include the "get medical help ASAP" statement more often than I would have preferred. The concern, of course, would be what to do if I simply can't? I guess I was hoping for a bit more of the austerity knowledge, but I understand that the book is about dealing with wounds and not about dealing with the aftermath of serious infections from some wounds.
Anyway, I also liked the idea of referencing his videos (there are even a few that exclusive to book readers) but I'm concerned that these references may not be available if/when they are really needed due to internet outages. It's a nice plus but they aren't going to do me any good when the Net is down. Instead, it would have been nice to include a few pictures or diagrams directly within the book that illustrated critical actions such as would debridement, for example.
The last consideration is the cost. Are the books worth it? I would say so. At $3.99 each, you gain a wealth of information that can be accessed on your computer, smart phone, and even printed for later reference. Heck, that's about the cost of a cafe latte at Starbucks. You can't go wrong for the price.
Again, it's really the decision making steps and candid speak that are the true benefits of the books. Find out more about his survival books here and let me know what you think after reading them.