Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Archive for the tag “injuries”

Textbooks of Military Medicine

Textbooks of Military Medicine – http://www.cs.amedd.army.mil/borden/

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • How can lack of sleep contribute to a friendly fire incident?
  • How long can the average person go without sleep and still be effective?
  • How can a prosthetic leg be set up to allow someone to bicycle?
  • How do you decontaminate someone exposed to chemical warfare agents?
  • How does the military measure eye trauma?
  • Where can I get detailed information about decompression sickness?


To get to the textbooks, you’ll need to click on one of the Textbooks of Military Medicine links, which will take you to http://www.cs.amedd.army.mil/borden/Portlet.aspx?id=82200b57-a7a4-4160-bb51-4a086dd6ccce.

This page links to the full text of the textbook series in reverse chronological order by publishing date. To help you focus on topics, here is my effort to group them by topic:



Environmental Aspects


Nuclear/Chemical/Biological Warfare

Physical Injury

Preventive Medicine


Each book is presented as a web page with PDF files for chapters and/or sections. If this format is uncomfortable for you, these books ought to be available through your library, at least through interlibrary loan. Some of the books are available for purchase, others are out of print.

Be warned that some of the volumes have disturbing photographs, as one might expect from medical textbooks.

If you are a regular writer of war stories, I would highly recommend keeping all of these volumes bookmarked or buying as many of the physical volumes as possible.


Marine Corps Combat Lifesaver Course Student Handout

Marine Corps Combat Lifesaver Course Student Handout – http://www.tecom.marines.mil/Portals/131/Docs/cls%20student.pdf

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • How do I treat a sucking chest wound?
  • How can I distinguish arterial hemorrhage from venous hemorrhage?
  • How do I distinguish between second and third degree burns?
  • What criteria do I use to triage casualties?
  • In a combat triage situation, what care should be given to someone triaged as “expectant”?


This 137 page PDF file is divided into the following sections:

  • Tactical Combat Casualty Care/CLS Overview
  • Identify Medical Fundamentals
  • Manage Hemorrhage
  • Maintain Casualty Airway
  • Manage Penetrating Chest Injuries
  • Manage Hemorrhagic Shock
  • Manage Burn Casualties
  • Perform Splinting Techniques
  • Administer Battlefield Medications
  • Perform Casualty Movement
  • Perform Combat Lifesaver Triage
  • Perform Combat Lifesaver Care
  • Glossary
  • Appendix A: Combat Life Saver (CLS) Bag – Illustrated listing of bag contents along with possible uses of each item.
  • Appendix B: Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) – Illustrated listing of first aid kit contents along with possible uses of each items.

Detailed instructions for treating various injuries are given. In some cases there are also photos of injuries that some people may find disturbing.

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