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First Aid and Wilderness Medicine - be prepared with a Cicerone guidebook

Cover of Pocket First Aid and Wilderness Medicine
11 Aug 2017
15.5 x 10.0 x 1.4cm
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Pocket First Aid and Wilderness Medicine

Essential for expeditions: mountaineers, hillwalkers and explorers - jungle, desert, ocean and remote areas

by Jim Duff, Ross Anderson
Book published by Cicerone Press

Written by doctors with a wealth of experience, this book covers the fundamentals of wilderness first aid and medicine. Clearly referenced chapters describe both how to minimise risks (including the preparation of first-aid kits) and how to cope with accident or illness in remote settings, from diving to high altitude and from desert to polar.

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Cover: Paperback - PVC
Size: 15.5 x 10.0 x 1.4cm
Weight: 240g

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This conveniently sized guide is an invaluable point of reference for all who travel and take part in outdoor, wilderness and mountain activities. Written by doctors with a wealth of experience, it provides a comprehensive summary of wilderness first aid and medicine – that is, managing accident or illness in remote locations without immediate access to help – giving you confidence in your ability to deal with any situation that may arise.

All topics are clearly referenced and easy to find, with chapters covering preparation, prevention, accident protocol, diagnosis, treatment and evacuation. From life-threatening emergencies to broken bones and sprains, infectious diseases, food poisoning, envenomation and respiratory problems, the book sets out all the crucial protocol and procedures to follow. It covers a wide range of different environments, including high altitude, desert, polar, tropical and marine, dealing with risk management and a variety of different scenarios. In addition, suggestions for first-aid kits and lists of medications and antibiotics (with dosage) can be found in the appendices.

Minimizing risks is part of the challenge and satisfaction of wilderness travel. Now in its twelfth edition (the third for Cicerone), Pocket First Aid and Wilderness Medicine is an indispensable companion for all outdoor activities and wilderness expeditions.

We do not yet have any updates available for this book

We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our Feedback form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).


Accident and illness protocol
Acronyms and abbreviations
Conversion tables
Read this

Part 1:    The fundamentals
1.    Prevention
2.    Positioning and moving a victim
3.    Medications – what you need to know
4.    Pain management

Part 2:    Accident and illness protocol
5.    Accident and illness protocol in a wilderness setting
6.    Primary survey – dealing with life-threatening emergencies
7.    Primary survey for specific situations
8.    Shock prevention and stabilization
9.    Secondary survey – working out what the problem is
10.    Evacuation

Part 3:    Problems and their treatment
11.    Spinal and head injuries
12.    Burns
13.    Broken bones, dislocations, sprains and strains
14.    Wounds
15.    Bites, stings and nasty plants
16.    Cold weather problems
17.    Hot weather problems
18.    Dehydration
19.    Diarrhoea and food poisoning
20.    Abdominal (belly) problems
21.    Respiratory problems
22.    Altitude illness – AMS, HACE and HAPE
23.    Drowning and diving problems
24.    Infectious diseases
25.    Eyes, ears and mouth
26.    Skin problems
27.    Gender-specific problems and STIs
28.    Other problems

Appendix 1    Chart of medications
Appendix 2    Antibiotics
Appendix 3    Rescue request form
Appendix 4    Marine envenomation
Appendix 5    Altitude illness flowchart
Appendix 6    Lake Louise Score (LLS)
Appendix 7    Avalanche rescue flow chart
Appendix 8    The skeleton and internal organs
Appendix 9    First aid kits
Appendix 10    Useful contacts and sources of information

Index of diagrams
Basic life support (BLS) in the wilderness



“Every trekker and expedition member should have this first aid manual on the top of their rucksack as there is no aspect of mountain medicine and general first aid omitted.”

Mountaineering legend Doug Scott 



First aid and pre-hospital care in remote environments presents a serious challenge for even the most experienced outdoor professionals. While there will never be a replacement for training and experience, this recently updated and popular guide provides a wealth of information all collated into one place, and reflects current best practice.

There are a number of books or guides on the market, but this editions pocket size and plasticised covers make it a handy reference text that can be realistically taken on a trip or expedition. The diagrams are clear, and the language avoids medical jargon for clear easily understood terminology.

The order and progression of the text works well, and will be familiar to anyone who has undertaken a basic life support or Mountain Rescue casualty care training. The sections on primary and secondary surveys are excellent. There are appendices covering key areas such as avalanches and altitude sickness with algorithms providing a useful aide menoire to instructors and leaders working with groups in remote mountain areas. Information is also included on first aid kit contents and medication for a wide range of illnesses and conditions.

Mike Margeson, Mountain Rescue

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