AN INTREPID Coventry surgeon and part-time climber has won a national award for his latest book on wilderness medicine.
Professor Chris Imray, a vascular and renal transplant surgeon at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW), has one first prize in the Primary Healthcare category in the British Medical Association (BMA) 2016 Medical Book Awards.
Professor Imray, a world expert on high altitude and frostbite, has co-authored ‘The Oxford Handbook of Expedition and Wilderness Medicine’, which includes includes information on diagnosis and treatment of medical problems encountered during an expedition, environmental hazards, crisis management and issues after returning home.
His expertise come from years of climbing – a passion which began as a schoolboy and has seen him travel the world to fulfill it, from the cliffs of Cornwall to the volcanoes of Chile.
In 2006 he climbed the world’s sixth highest mountain, Cho Oyu, on the China-Nepal border, and in 2007 he climbed Mount Everest as part of the Caudwell Xtreme Everest Research Group – where doctors and scientists studied how the human body copes when stretched to breaking point in extreme environments.
Describing the accolade as ‘unexpected, a surprise and a delight’, Prof Imray said: “Wilderness medicine has for a long time been a bit of a Cinderella subject and there was no BMA category dedicated to the field.
“Most of my non-clinical focus is on research, so winning a prize for helping to author an education text about a subject I love is particularly gratifying.
“My thanks go to the other co-authors and all the other contributors.”
Despite publishing 135 peer review papers on various subjects including altitude medicine, cold injury, vascular surgery and renal transplantation, Professor Imray remains an active mountaineer and altitude researcher.
He is also member of the Alpine and Climbers Club, sits on the Mount Everest Screening Committee and runs the UK internet telemedicine frostbite service for the British Mountaineering Council.
The winners of the BMA 2016 Medical Book Awards were announced at a ceremony in London on Wednesday, September 7.