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Book review: First Aid Manual 9th Edition

Note that this review is based on an old version of the first aid manual. Click here to read about the latest first aid manual.

Another year a new edition of the First Aid Manual – or so it feels. In fact the last edition was 3 years ago. This is shorter time than some of the other releases but I believe there is good reason for this.
My explanation is based on snippets of information I’ve heard – this is not an official response (see 9th edition feedback requested).
This 9th edition has been work in progress for several years and I believe it was already planned before the last updated version. In 2005 were significant changes to the resuscitation guidelines and the First Aid Manual had to be updated quickly. The changes have been proved to have greatly improved chances of survival in the event of cardiac arrest. The updated version was created based on updating the old version and adding these important updates. The updated version was released in 2006 but did not get a new version number.
The 9th Edition is a significant redesign of the first aid manual with new photographs throughout, clearer descriptions and improved illustrations.

[Throughout this I will refer to the previous version of the First Aid manual as the updated manual – see review of the old first aid manual for an explanation of the old manual]

The new 9th edition of the First Aid Manual can be recognised by 9th edition on the front page and it has green text for First Aid on the front cover and the side. The previous two manuals had red first aid text. The new first aid manual also has the new modern looking St John Ambulance logo alongside the logos of St. Andrew’s Ambulance Associate and the British Red Cross; this is the only official authorised guide of all three first aid societies.

The studio photos used in the old version of the first aid manual have all been replaced by photos in real locations with appropriate casualty make-up making it more realistic. The instructions are clear with a separate box with recognition, aims and caution information.

Some of the treatments have been updated with new updated first aid guidelines. One example is the treatment for stroke which now includes the new FAST (Face-Arm-Speech-Test) guide. Another is the recognition of Meningitis which now includes the cold hands and feet recognition feature.

For anyone that is involved in first aid in an official capacity (such as in the workplace, as a volunteer or even just looking after a neighbours kids), then I strongly recommend having the latest version of the First Aid Manual. For anyone else that doesn’t have the previous updated first aid manual I would also recommend you get a copy of the first aid manual.
For those that just have the first aid manual for personal reference, but have the updated version then the decision is not quite so clear. There are less changes to the guidelines than some other editions, but the new format makes it easier to understand and follow.

Unless there are any major changes to the protocols then this version is likely to remain the current version for some time before another edition is released and £12.99 is not much to spend in the interest of protecting your family. The book is also available at reduced price from St John Ambulance – St John Supplies.

I will be making some changes to the First Aid Quiz questions to bring them in-line with the new book. I do not expect to have to make many changes, but all the questions will need to be checked which will take some time.

First Aid Manual 9th Edition

The first aid manual is a great source of information but is no replacement for first aid training. St John Ambulance provides a variety of different first aid courses from short introduction courses to full workplace training requirements.

See more first aid news and reviews on the First Aid Quiz blog,

One Response to “Book review: First Aid Manual 9th Edition”

  1. » Book Review: Health & Safety at Work – An essential guide for managers - Watkissonline Says:

    […] The revised 8th edition published in 2008 is up-to-date with regard to most regulations including the regulations governing smoke free workplaces. The first aid guidance is however out-of-date. The changes to the resuscitation protocol happened prior to 2002 and there have been two new version of The First Aid Manual since then. In the case of the first aid guidelines then a dedicated first aid book should should be used instead of the guidelines in the Health and Safety at Work book. I recommend the First Aid Manual as the preferred book when looking for first aid guidance. At the time of writing the latest is The First Aid Manual 9th edition. […]


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