One of the few benefits of running a survival blog is that occasionally people will ask me to review their stuff, be it a piece of body armor, flashlight, or perhaps the most important piece… some very useful knowledge.
In this case, I was asked by Dr. Hubbard of TheSurvivalDoctor.com to review his upcoming paperback book titled Living Ready Pocket Manual – First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival which can be pre-purchased on Amazon.com before the release date of December 31, 2013.
I should note that I have had the opportunity to review other works by Dr. Hubbard, including a Review of The Survival Doctor’s Guide to Burns and The Survival Doctor’s Guide to Wounds which were both excellent reads and for the price of only a few dollars you can’t beat the advice, though, they are only available in the Kindle format.
…back to the book at-hand as I was eager to dive into Dr. Hubbard’s newest book to see what I could learn from somebody who not only knows what he’s doing–he’s a doctor, after all–but also from somebody that truly understands what we preppers need to know since he’s one of us and recognizes that help isn’t always just around the corner.
According to the Amazon.com description of this book:
“Whether you are miles from help or immersed in an urban disaster situation, every second counts during a medical emergency. This book will help you take quick, effective action to stabilize the situation.
The easy-to-follow, step-by-step instruction in this book will help you prevent or respond to:
- Hypothermia, frostbite and heatstroke
- Skin wounds including burns, cuts, bites and gunshots
- Anaphylaxis, allergic reactions and rashes
- Broken bones and injured joints
Plus you’ll find detailed packing lists for survival first aid kits of all sizes. This pocket-sized manual is perfect for packing in first aid kits, bug out bags, day-hiking packs and vehicle kits. Medical emergencies are unplanned and unpredictable, but you can be prepared. Arm yourself with knowledge that can save a life.”
Well, that sounded like a good start but I had to read the book myself and, though I didn’t expect to read it ALL at once, that’s what happened. At 193 pages it took me a few hours but Dr. Hubbard kept it interesting and useful… as much as a doctor can, anyway. 😉
The Supplies List
The first chapter starts off with medical supplies. He details all the usual stuff you would expect to find in a quality medical kit and even a few things I hadn’t considered but will most definitely add. Dr. Hubbard also points out several things to keep around that you’ll need a bit of training to use properly but will certainly make long-term scenarios easier to handle, stuff like blood pressure cuffs and IV fluids, if you must know.
There’s more covered including OTC medications, antibiotics, and more. The lists were easy to read and explanations kept relatively short. I also liked how he often included alternatives to the recommended supplies (where appropriate) so that you begin to think outside the box if need be. A bug out bag checklist of supplies is included for easy reference too.
The Specific Chapters
Each subsequent chapter then covers a major topic and stuff that’s quite likely post disaster. I’ll list them here along with a very brief overview:
- Resuscitation – Discusses what to do if a person collapses, how to perform CPR properly (the TV is all wrong!), checking for breathing (including how to use oral airways), and choking. I rather appreciated this chapter’s conciseness. He provided solid information that was spot-on useful.
- Water and Hydration – Includes basic fluid requirements of humans, water conservation, ways to make water safe for consumption, dehydration signs and treatment, oral rehydration, diarrhea, and more. While I understand why Dr. Hubbard felt he needed to cover topics like ways to make water safe to drink in this chapter, IMO any prepper worth his weight in gold *should* already have this well covered. If not, read thoroughly.
- Exposure: Hperthermia and Hypothermia – Covers appropriate clothing to avoid overheating, prevention tactics, sunburns, muscle cramps, signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, as well as similar topics for hypothermia. It’s all well-laid out and solid advice. This is stuff I know a bit more about and I wouldn’t have changed a thing!
- Skin Wounds – How to make sterile and pressure dressings (I suggest you purchase some anyway), how to sterilize instruments, how to deal with cuts and lacerations, stopping bleeding, wound cleaning, wound closure, advice for special cases such as wounds on the scalp or in the mouth, and other special circumstances such as animal or snake bites, as well as quite a bit about gunshot wounds. There’s also quite an extensive section on burn treatment as well. If you’re looking for very concise advice then stick with the info here, otherwise consider The Survival Doctor’s Guide to Burns and The Survival Doctor’s Guide to Wounds as they’re a bit more in-depth.
- Reactions: Anaphylaxis, Skin Irritations, Poisoning – Covers treatment and prevention of anaphylaxis (usually from stinging insects such as bees, wasps, fire ants, etc), a bit about spiders, mosquitoes, ticks (yuck!), and more. Poison Ivy and it’s relatives are also covered as well as other often bothersome plants.
- Bones and Joints – All about diagnosis and treatment for sprains, fractures, and broken bones, splinting, spinal cord injuries, collapsed lung, joint injuries (elbows, knees, hip), specific areas (arms, legs, feet), and more.
Although there are occasional references to calling 9-1-1 and seeking additional medical care–in some cases you simply MUST have outside help–most of the book is focused on prevention and treatments you can and should utilize yourself if help is NOT available. I also liked how Dr. Hubbard occasionally threw in appropriate tidbits of information here and there. For example, you would learn how to make pinhole glasses, using honey as medicine, how to make oral rehydration fluid, tourniquet application, and more.
Unlike traditional first aid books that tell you do a few very basic things to stabilize the victim, this book attempts to take tried and true medical advice a bit further and explain what can and should be done if help isn’t on the way because, well, one day… it may not be. Though I’ve only read a PDF version, the Living Ready Pocket Manual – First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival is concise enough to be added to a bug out bag for easy reference and, in fact, I will do so as I’ve pre-ordered mine and look forward to adding it to my bag. At less than $10 you’ll be glad you have it.