Reading this book may set your adrenaline flowing. The authors want to train you to keep a cool head and take competent action in life-or-death emergencies. Chapter by chapter, they ring the changes on heart attack and choking, poisoning, shock, drug overdose, sudden injury or illness. By the time you reach the chapter on childbirth you yourself may be panting at the life-saving efforts you have vicariously been making! In each case the authors set the stage with a happy- or tragic-ending scenario and then follow up with step-by-step procedures of what to do. This is recapped in bold face and brief paragraphs at the chapter's end. Photos should amplify the text. The main problem is how well a person can learn lifesaving techniques by reading about them. The authors do provide a rationale for the procedures, but all too often this is brief. A little more basic physiology would help. For example, the authors recommend both sharp raps between the shoulder blades and the Heimlich maneuver (force applied upward from the abdomen) to relieve choking. But the common dogma preached in newspapers and on television urges the Heimlich maneuver only. Why both? and why repeat each procedure precisely four times? Cautious reader will want to know more. So let us hope that the book--even if it doesn't turn us into instant heros--stimulates and encourages further enlightenment.