By: Rajat Kumar, MS3

Emergency care begins well before patients reach the doors of the Emergency Room. And numerous studies have shown that despite high-tech critical care units, the fate of our sickest patients often rests in the speed and intelligence of the paramedics and first responders who first arrive on scene. So its crucial that they be intimately familiar with the up to date critical care algorithms.

The EMS ACLS Guide by Informed Publishing offers these initial providers with an array of information, easily accessible on iOS and Android platforms.  The developers admittedly target their app at EMTs and first responders, but this app could also be a valuable tool for all healthcare providers.

The home screen of the app wastes no time, quickly presenting the user with a clean interface and categories to explore.

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The toolbar at the bottom of the screen allows the user to access calculators and bookmarked topics, along with an “about” section.

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The categories range from airway management to poisons, which provide a list of common toxins and drugs of abuse, even allowing the user to place a call to Poison Control from within the app.

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There is also an easy navigation tab that allows you jump pages within topics.

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Many topics include images, such as ECG’s of cardiac arrest rhythms, s well as easy to use flowcharts with step-by-step management options for various emergency situations.  Within the flowchart, there is an ability to access other topics (particularly pertinent ACLS algorithms).

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The calculators are unfortunately limited, but allow quick-hit access to conversions and calculations, especially pertaining to pediatric emergencies.

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The app also includes a basic Spanish translation tool, perfect for taking a quick medical history.

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Price:

  • $5.99 from the Appstore

Likes:

  • Step-by-step layout, often including flowcharts and images/diagrams

Dislikes:

  • Lack of references
  • Many topics of limited utility for in-hospital professionals

Conclusion:

  • True to their promise of providing tools for the first responders, the app affords these busy professionals with vital information for the initial field stabilization and management of emergency patients.  However, the limited scope does not maintain its utility once the doors of the ED are breeched.  Therefore the app seems better utilized by first responders and field emergency professionals than in-hospital professionals.

iTunes Link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ems-acls-guide/id373869712?mt=8