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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant antidote to everyday stresses
Read this book and learned a lot and laughed until I cried. Sure some of the humour is a little dark but the ability to see the funny side of life's difficult stressful moments is a wonderful talent and a terrific aid to putting your own life in perspective. I thoroughly recommend this book which could be used as a fund-raising aid for those great guys and girls who make...
Published on 1 Aug. 2012 by Dalet

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Caveat Emptor. Or, Good But Could Have Been Better.
The pluses: An interesting read with lots of details about the incidents the air ambulance and it's team of doctors, paramedics and pilots are called to. Both stories where they were told 'You can't park there!' gave a real perspective on the respective incidents - the second being quite scary even for the reader, and outlining the vulnerabilities of the team, as does...
Published on 8 Oct. 2012 by A. Rogers


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant antidote to everyday stresses, 1 Aug. 2012
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Read this book and learned a lot and laughed until I cried. Sure some of the humour is a little dark but the ability to see the funny side of life's difficult stressful moments is a wonderful talent and a terrific aid to putting your own life in perspective. I thoroughly recommend this book which could be used as a fund-raising aid for those great guys and girls who make up the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Confessions of an Air Ambulance Doctor, 31 July 2013
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Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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I think you either like `slice of life' books of you don't. I must admit I enjoy them because they give me an insight into other people's jobs. I've read many books giving an insight into aspects of the medical profession and this is the first one I've read about the air ambulance service and I found it fascinating reading. It also made me count my blessings and realise how quickly one's life can change because of an accident.

Air ambulances by definition attend the most difficult and serious cases so here we read about some horrendous injuries and of course some of the patients didn't live to tell the tale. Sending doctors out with the air ambulance increases survival rates because they can carry out such procedures as giving anaesthetics which makes it possible for some treatments to be carried out at the scene rather than delayed until the patient reaches hospital.

I really got a good idea of how important team spirit is in such extreme situations and how the whole team - pilots as well as medical staff - needed to work well together. Some of the incidents were truly hair-raising - landing the helicopter on the side of a hill or in the fast lane on the motorway for example. Fortunately both helicopter and staff survived those experiences.

I felt I really got a sense of why the staff do the jobs they do - being able to help people and also getting a huge adrenaline rush from the flying and the traumatic situations they were involved in. Some might say the helping people should come first but I also think enjoying your job makes for a better job done. If you want to know what it's like being part of an air ambulance team then read this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars How did Bleetman manage to publish such detailed medical facts, 24 Sept. 2012
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Writing with such interesting and informative detail, Tony Bleetman must have given the publisher a nightmare. Words such as 'Patient Confidentiality' and 'Hippocratic Oath' come to mind and we can only be very grateful that the final product of Bleetman's accounts of his wonderful volunteer work with the Air Ambulance gives us a wonderful insight into a world that so many of us contribute towards but could never quite imagine what the Service actually does. Obviously it does take a very special person to become a senior accident and emergency surgeon and to find one with a passion for flying who can combine the 'Love of Flight' with the 'Life Saving Skills' is probably a rare combination. I suspect Bleetman's fellow Air Med doctors may not have such a quirky view of the world and the Emergency Services, so we are privileged to have seen an incredible insight into a number of experiences that hopefully most of us will never encounter.

The many personalities and events described in Bleetman's book can best be described as unusual but what can we expect of people who save many lives each year in the most amazing circumstances. However, despite the horrors, excitement and vulgarities we find Bleetman to be quite a sensitive person away from the influence of the 'Blood and Guts' of the day jobs.

This very consuming book has been well written and within it we learn a lot of detail about a fascinating subject that we hope never to witness at close quarters. Great stories, interesting characters and a damn good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, 15 July 2012
You Can't Park There!
Tony Bleetman

As far as emergency medicine is concerned, the Paramedics and Doctors screaming over our heads in Helimed 999, the Air Ambulance must have the most glamorous, exciting job in the world, ever! Tony Bleetman is the first Air Ambulance Doctor to tell us how it really is. The highs, the lows, the flying by the seat of the pants. Bucking trends and saving lives.

Tony Bleetman had, as a child, two dreams. To become a pilot, and to become a doctor. He achieved both; the latter thanks to the Israeli Defence Forces. After returning to the UK he became a BASICS Doctor, dashing to incidents in his old battered car with a blue flashing light and eventually becoming a consultant in Emergency Medicine, and Air Ambulance Doctor in his spare time.

The traditional Air Ambulance is there when you absolutely positively have to get someone to hospital fast. Helimed 999 is there when you absolutely positively have to get the Doctor to someone fast. Bringing the Doctor (unpaid volunteer Doctor no less) to the casualty rather than the casualty to the Doctor means that more lives will be saved. And saved many are, whether it is at a bad road accident, a heart attack victim at the Golf Club or a woman in the tight confines or a Narrow Boat. And there are challenges at every turn. From scrounging kit to set up their Operations Room (and scrounging the room as well), to going cap-in-hand to seek out sponsors to keep their expensive helicopter in the air. Cutting a chest open in the middle of a street, killing chickens on an allotment or being pelted by golf balls whilst dealing with a heart attack, schmoosing with the PM, and becoming reality TV stars are all run of the mill stuff, not forgetting zooming around the local countryside in a Fast Response Car at the speed of light.

Of course there are rivalries. Being the new kids on the block, and offering more than anyone they ruffle a few feathers amongst their traditional air and road ambulances, and the RAF Search and Rescue, winding up the police, getting into slagging matches with the Fire Service and landing in the middle of a maximum security prison, there are plenty of comments about the new `coyboys'. Fortunately a station manager who would do well in the Diplomatic Cops helps them out of a few sticky situations.

As we know, Air Ambulances in the UK are all run as charities. They are not the cheapest venture in the world either, so we are also introduced to the fine art of scrounging, begging and prostrating yourself for a buck or two. And it's amazing what the crew of Helimed 999 will do to earn funds. Rattling tins, shaking hands and Iron Man competitions are all in a day's work for this crew.

You Can't Park There is in turns hilariously funny - and I mean laugh out loud and wake up your partner sleeping next to you funny, nail biting, gritty and heart warming. You can't fail to marvel at the gung-ho attitude to flying, life saving and life living. If you have the slightest interest in Emergency Medicine then you will enjoy this book, if you have spent any time in the Emergency Services or Armed Forces you will love the humour.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A proppa choppa toppa, 16 July 2012
A very entertaining cockpit view of helicopter doctoring. Dr Bleetman manages to combine the thrills and pathos that goes with emergency medicine at its most raw. Also, despite the necessary grimness of some of the accounts of minutes old trauma it is also very, very funny.
I challenge anyone not to laugh out loud at his description of the drug induced swear-a-thon by the injured school teacher.

The author also provides an insight into the emotional side of emergency trauma care that matches the descriptions of the nuts and bolts of patching broken bodies. How do you tell relatives that the patient has truly "gone" and that their best medical interventions have not provided the miracle all were hoping for?

This book also teaches the valuable lesson that for things to improve you have to have people like the crews of Helimed 999 who constantly ask :"Why don't we do it like this instead?" Needless to say as with all new endeavour this can create resistance and criticism. Things don't necessarily go according to plan but that's never been a reason not to try. Otherwise how would airborne medicine ever get off the ground. Pun intended.

Thoroughly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You Can't Park There! : The Highs and Lows of an Air Ambulance Doctor, 25 Jun. 2012
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This book is one of the most enjoyable reads I have had for a long time. I couldn't put it down! It is very honestly and sympathetically written, and pulls no punches. It tells the experiences of a doctor and his crew attending incidents as part of their work with an air ambulance and gives an insight into the background running of the service along with the all important frontline action. The humour with which it is written is appropriate and not at all flippant, and enables the reader to paint a very real picture of the 'scene'. The emotion of some of the situations the crew found themselves faced with is clear and the reader finds themselves thinking 'how on earth can they do this, day in and day out?' For readers of a non-medical background there are clear explanations of conditions, drugs and interventions etc. which compliment the narrative well. A MUST read for anyone with an interest in medicine, trauma, and/or flying and who wants a good laugh! Can't wait for the next installment!
You Can't Park There!: The Highs and Lows of an Air Ambulance Doctor
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Caveat Emptor. Or, Good But Could Have Been Better., 8 Oct. 2012
By 
A. Rogers (Oxfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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The pluses: An interesting read with lots of details about the incidents the air ambulance and it's team of doctors, paramedics and pilots are called to. Both stories where they were told 'You can't park there!' gave a real perspective on the respective incidents - the second being quite scary even for the reader, and outlining the vulnerabilities of the team, as does the story of the patient transfer in a storm. And the story of the golfers 'playing through' was enough to make me want to leap to the defence of the helicopter - and the unfortunate golfer it had gone to help.

The minuses: For me, the biggest disappointment of this book was the way that it was written portraying almost all the emergency services and other air ambulance teams as being inferior to their own team. Time and again the stories of the incidents are told with negative comments about other rescuers or medical staff.

It's understood that a HEMS aircraft carrying a consultant is going to be able to deal with more advanced life-saving requirements than an air ambulance crewed with paramedics and not doctors. But the book could have been far more supportive of other air ambulances working within different parameters and still doing very important work. The constant digging at other rescuers whether airbourne or on the ground is a real shame and it detracts from the very real, life-saving work that this team do on a daily basis.

There are also at least two occasions in the book where the aircraft and crew are put at completely unnecessary risk because the crew disregarded the instructions of trained personnel on the ground. This sense of 'always being right' (even when they clearly aren't) is threaded through the book. Obviously stressful situations will create some difficult and sometimes poor decision making, but this is rarely acknowledged in this book, except almost as a joke. (The Sierra Wicked on blue lights in fog comes to mind...)

Considering how professional all these people need to be in their respective roles, they are sometimes amazingly dis-respectful of other professionals - even those in the same field. The London HEMS incident borders on disgraceful. If two supposed 'professional' visitors turned up to see me in the state outlined in the book, apart from being offended, I would be highly dubious of their air ambulance's professional qualities. Surely the opposite effect to that desired.

In summary, it's a good, interesting read - but it could have been a lot better.

Would I recommend this? Yes, but 'caveat emptor'!
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5.0 out of 5 stars You need to read this book!!!, 22 July 2012
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I saved this book for my holiday with the intention of reading it on the beach. I picked it up and could not put it down and finished it by the end of the first day. It is a truely compelling read, whether you are in this line of work or not, and it draws you in to the world of air ambulances. The author writes a first hand account of his experiences with humour and realism, and even dares to reveal a soft gooey inside to his charismatic and direct personality.

This book is a MUST READ for any health care professional, but is not exclusive to us and is a SHOULD READ for everyone else. I cannot recommend this book enough:
Buy it, Read it, Enjoy it, You Know You Want To!!!
You Can't Park There!: The Highs and Lows of an Air Ambulance Doctor
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5.0 out of 5 stars 'You can't park there' The highs and lows of an air ambulance doctor by Tony Bleetman, 29 Sept. 2012
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Lovely book, a 'must read'! Mr Bleetman was the Doctor on board when my daughter had her terrible car accident on New years Eve 2004 and he and his paramedic Bryan (Barry) attended and it's featured in Chapter 11. We were so lucky that day that it was their turn on shift and I shall never forget them and they will always be in my prayers. I had the privilege to meet them both when they were awarded their Life Savers Award at the Cafe Royale and they so deserved that recognition. God Bless them both and their pilot Charlie (Chris). God Bless the Air Ambulances in this Country! Buy this book, it's a really good read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just Brilliant!, 28 Jun. 2012
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From the minute I picked up this book I was unable to put it down. This compelling account of the highs and lows of the air ambulance service is both riveting and humorous. I cannot remember the last time I laughed out loud with aching ribs whilst reading. The book is written with sensitivity and a passion for this remarkable service put together by a team of incredible people. I strongly urge you not to miss out on such an entertaining novel and I wait with baited breath for the next installment.

You Can't Park There!: The Highs and Lows of an Air Ambulance Doctor
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Confessions of an Air Ambulance Doctor
Confessions of an Air Ambulance Doctor by Dr Tony Bleetman (Paperback - 18 July 2013)
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