Also known (at least until a certain authoress sets her lawyers on them) as the Hogwarts School of Grid-Down Medicine. We’ve always been interested in field medicine. It’s a basic fact that SF guys don’t work alone; along with the indispensable weapons men, and the sometimes indispensable team leader and team tech, there are four other enlisted specializations on the team, all of which come in handy sooner or later: engineering, communications, operations and intelligence, and, last but definitely not least, medicine. An SF medic has trained, and once he’s been around for a few years, practiced, medical treatment of his team, his indigenous troops, and often local civilians (and their livestock) in the operational area. He has become an artist; his paints are an aid bag and a sharp, developed mind, and his canvas is the sick or wounded human body. He also takes on the thankless task of training his team’s cognitively-challenged bullet-launcher operators, mad demolitionists, nerdy radio hams and vainglorious officers how to keep one another alive if he and his Junior Medic get hit by the proverbial crosstown bus.
The guys who write for this site (frequent commenter, and nearly as frequent SoCal job hunter, Aesop may be joining them soon) remind us of those dedicated medics who taught us how to bring a patient back from death’s door — and made us show them we were paying attention, with live patients. They know where the bodies are buried, as the saying goes, sometimes because their error put ‘em there. And they know triage in a way you don’t “know” it until you’ve lived it: when to take their time, when the Reaper has hounded them into an all-out effort, and when efforts are futile. And they express this with the wit and sturdy black humor for which the profession is noted (see the bottom entry under “Irreversible shock” below).
The site is clear, thorough, and opinionated in a good way. (Hint: Jenny McCarthy will not like their opinion of her personal quest for the Ignoble Prize for Medicine. “Field medicine” doesn’t need to include arrant quackery. Nay, it needs not to).
Emergency medicine today is highly developed and systematized, and they’ve given a lot of thought to what from this system works in an off-grid situation, and what doesn’t.
One of the most intriguing things we saw here was a post (promising more to come) on manufacturing insulin in austere conditions. The glowing example is a refugee couple who rolled their own whilst besieged in Shanghai during World War II.
Another is this post about the Shelf Life Extension Program. It’s long been an open secret that we in SF, like many missionary and other austere-medicine groups, use medications past their expiration date. (We’re also kind of anal about how we store them… lots of environmental things, like UV light, can kill meds). And there’s a great post about cold weather and hypothermia — it’s simple basics, but a young woman just died an hour from here, for want of simple basics. The whole site is strongly recommended.