Improvised Medicine is essential reading for any medical professional, from EMT to surgeon, who may ever run out of medical supplies. Whether the cause is poverty or isolation, disaster or war, this book provides improvisations and work-arounds.
In thirty-seven chapters, Iserson covers all fields of medicine, including dentistry and psychological care. Topics range from triage to sanitation, from infectious diseases to documenting deaths. Each chapter has several pages of references, citing sources from medical journals to POW memoirs. These could be very useful in persuading medical colleagues to take the procedures and substitutions seriously. The book is also well-indexed.
Among topics covered:
- Reusing disposable medical supplies
- Using expired medications or street drugs
- Rehydration formulas
- Improvising lab tests
- Making IV equipment
- Direct blood transfusion from person-to-person
- Making a blood warmer
- Using a razor blade as a scalpel
- Preparing a helicopter landing zone
- Preparing your patients for evacuation on aircraft or pack animals
- Adapting adult-size medical supplies to care for children or infants
- Making hospital beds and rehab equipment from normal household items
- Adapting a ventilator to work for multiple patients at the same time
- Why you may not want to bury the dead immediately.
This book will not teach you how to do surgery. If you know how, it will show you how to work without the equipment, drugs, lab support or electricity you would normally expect to have. While not intended for non-professionals, if you have Where There is No Doctor on your bookshelf, you might want this book next to it.
For a trade paperback, this book is expensive ($57). A Kindle edition is available for $45. However, if you are out of IV tubing, you may not have any way to recharge the battery.