Citation Information : Journal of the Australasian Society of Aerospace Medicine. Volume 10, Pages 28-28, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21307/asam-2015-013
License : (CC-BY-4.0)
Published Online: 27-June-2018
Dr Stephen Langford is a well-known member of ASAM, and known widely in the aeromedical and retrieval communities. He is the longest-serving doctor in RFDS, having worked with RFDS since 1983, and is the Medical Director of RFDS in Western Australia.
His book The leading edge: innovation, technology, and people in Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor Service provides a warm review of the RFDS using the many technological innovations since the 1930s as the narrative that communicates the history of RFDS in a new and interesting way.
The story is populated by many personal anecdotes and tales of medical adventure, interspersed with countless stories of the challenges of providing medical support to the people of remote rural Western Australia – trying to communicate with, reach, treat, and transport the sick and injured in the days before the many technologies we enjoy today. The book tells the story of advances in aviation over the years, as well as advances in medical imaging and biological monitoring that allow critical care facilities to be easily taken forward to the point of injury, and provide critical monitoring during flight.
Aeromedical retrieval is the exciting interface between aviation and critical care medicine – both industries that are driven to explore innovations in technology to improve performance and safety. Stephen’s book provides an enjoyable and educational read, a book that illustrates the way the exciting advances in aviation and medicine have worked together to enhance the support RFDS can provide the many people who rely on the Service across rural and regional Australia.
I would heartily recommend this book to ASAM members interested in the history of the iconic Australian institution, the RFDS.