Save Lives, Save Limbs

The Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Trauma offers open access to a new resource – a field manual and teaching tool developed to train of lay persons in management of land mine injuries in remote areas with few resources. The book is equally well suited for building local chains of survival for other kind of injuries, and contains detailed description of advanced procedures with detailed figures as well. The book was developed by Hans Husum, Mads Gilbert and Torben Wisborg through the Tromsø-based Trauma Care Foundation and has been translated into Farsi, Pashto, Kurd, Burmese, Shan, Khmer, Vietnamese, Spanish, Nepali and Arabic in addition to the English original text.

The authors have agreed that the book should be freely available to all, except for commercial purposes. By opening access through the web we hope this resource will be available for those preparing training or establishing local chains-of-survival.


«Save Lives, Save Limbs. Life support to victims of mines, wars, and accident» is a handbook for anyone involved in mine victims’ assistance, relief work in civil disasters, or even first aid in emergencies and accidents.

Yet there is more to «Save Lives, Save Limbs» than life-saving first aid and surgery – it is also a guide to self-empowerment for rural communities stalked by this deadly epidemic. Step by step it shows how villagers in the South can build support networks to handle victims of mines and other disasters – taking into account the differences in infrastructure, terrain and clime, in healthcare and socioeconomic systems.

When a land mine explodes every 10 minutes somewhere in the world – taking or maiming another life – it makes the appearance of Save Lives, Save Limbs all the more timely. This book is indispensable for anyone involved in mine victims’ assistance, relief work in civil disasters, or even first aid in emergencies and accidents.

What are other saying about this life support manual?

“Everyone whose work involves contact with mine-affected communities should consider this book a vital resource.” – Rae McGrath, Nobel Prize laureate, 1997

“Had I had this book in my work as a health worker and trainer of health workers in the mountains of Mexico, many persons who died from stabbings, bullet wounds and traumatic accidents in remote villages might still be alive today. A splendid and important book.” – David Werner, Author of Where There is No Doctor, Helping Health Workers Learn, and Nothing About Us Without Us.

“Talk of the empowerment of impoverished and repressed communities is all too often empty rhetoric. This book is a concrete example of what can be done, practically and pragmatically, to help save lives and limbs. In the didactic traditions of Where There is No Doctor and community solidarity work, this book is an excellent addition in helping to fill an important gap.” – Chris Paul Giannou MD, Head of Unit of Surgery and Hospital Assistance, ICRC. (The views expressed are those of CPG and do not necessarily represent those of the ICRC.)

“This book is the outcome of a long and intensive experience in minefields and war zones in the South where there are no helicopters, no ambulances, and where hospitals are far away. By answering the question of whom to train, where and how to save lives and limbs, this manual is an invaluable resource for all workers in the field.” – Claude Romer MD and Pierre Bwale MD, PVI, WHO Geneva

“Everyone who faces injury is frightened – the victim, their family or friends, and even the medic. This book has been written by people like you. They have seen what you see. They know that to meet and overcome the fear needs knowledge, understanding and practice. Only in this way can you begin the journey to save your victim’s limbs and lives. The first step on this path is to open the book – so do it now.” – Colin Robertson MD, PhD, Consultant in Accident and Emergency Medicine, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh

“This excellent handbook for medics will enable the world to give appropriate early care to thousands of trauma victims. It will empower communities to handle devastating injuries by encouraging them to develop local care structures and teach life support. This excellent text tells individuals and communities in detail how to give emergency care and set up training programs. Good first aid requires education and organization. Without either, precious time is lost in victim care. This manual shows how to do it.” – James C. Cobey, MD, MPH, Physicians for Human Rights Health Volunteers Overseas, Washington, DC

“This concise, superbly produced, and richly illustrated volume is an eye opener. I strongly recommend this book as compulsory reading to all health care professionals…and to all doctors, students and paramedical staff of Third World countries – since trauma and its care involves all of them. The authors emphasise a holistic approach to the trauma victim. They tell us what can be achieved under the most trying conditions. Their suggestions are pragmatic, and their recommendations achievable; that is reason enough to read this book.” – Lt Col K M Rai, SM, Department of General and Vascular Surgery, Army Hospital (Research & Referral), Delhi, India

You will find it here