One of the most important considerations to any doctor is ensuring their knowledge is up to date.

A recent app released for emergency medicine physicians called Critical Care Emergencies 2013 is aimed at just that.

It contains a short  manual covering basic life support and other ALS guidelines, a range of ACLS calculators and over 760 questions covering a broad range of topics including cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, pediatrics, and surgery.





Upon opening the app the user is presented with the three main topics as well as options to buy further questions.


Selecting the exam section presents other options with a wide range of questions. Each question is multiple-choice and usually has from 3 to 7 answers. Each question is written concisely and users can select multiple options until the correct answer is selected.

Correct answers are highlighted in blue while incorrect answers are highlighted in red. In general the user interface is straightforward and simple to use. Questions can be bookmarked by simply tapping on the title. They can also be bookmarked at the top of the app or alternatively using the bookmark option.


The algorithms contained within Critical Care Emergencies 2013 are fairly short but are useful adjuncts to remind users on the go. An in-app purchase is required to access all the various resuscitation guidelines. Although not referenced directly within the app, the guidelines provided are based on the AHA guidelines for ACLS for 2013 (according to the iTunes page).


The final section within the app is a series of ACLS calculators which are commonly used in the emergency department. There are 14 separate calculators covering a range of options from calculating anion gap and Apache II scores to unit conversions. Using a calculator is very simple and straightforward with the results displayed as a pop-up window. One of the drawbacks is there is no cited reference as to where the formulas are taken from.


One of the issues that I faced while using Critical Care Emergencies 2013 was the poor ability to measure statistics. Although users can tell how many questions they got correct at the time, the statistics in the corner do not always update properly. I also have encountered intermittent issues with the app crashing although this was only a small problem. It was also frustrating that there was no explanation given without making an in-app purchase.


  • Critical Care Emergencies 2013 is free
  • To access all/full content, an in app purchase is required


  • Wide range of multiple choice questions
  • Useful ACLS calculators
  • Range of algorithms for common ER presentations


  • In app purchase required to access full functionality
  • Difficult to review statistics
  • Lack of references for calculator


  • Critical Care Emergencies 2013 will probably offer most emergency department physicians something useful for free. Those wishing to purchase the additional content will find it quite useful particularly given the inclusion of up-to-date guidelines

iMedicalApps recommended?

  •  Yes

iTunes Link

Rating: (1 to 5 stars): 3/5

  • User interface – 3
  • Multimedia usage – 3
  • Price – 5
  • Real world applicability -4