I was approached by Infomed to review their iphone app Emergency & Critical Care ACLS Pocket Guide Version.

It is safe to say I was skeptical about using a phone app for patient care advice, but after having a look through this thorough guide I recommend it highly.

I do not recommend using this or any other guide during actual patient care.  Using it in the back of the ambulance or on scene requires both hands and both eyes off of the patient, something I do not practice.  However, the list of medications and common poisons could help you down the proper path while others are tending to the patient.

I have had this app on my phone for a week and a half now and moved it from page 4 to page 1 during my testing for the Captain’s exam.  I used it when I had only a few minutes to review some basic protocols and it was far nicer than lugging around the large binder or even a flip guide that does not fit in my uniform pants or shorts at home.

Even a quick visit to my “office” meant a few moments to review things like Pediatric Glascow Coma scales, APGAR scores, ACLS for symptomatic bradycardia, dosages and even common poisons.

The app is well designed, in my mind, and lacks a lot of the bells and whistles I think could trap field providers into over relying on it.

For example, a really neat feature would be a digital braselow tape that brings up the color coded info for that child.  As neat as that would be, it would become a crutch and if forgotten at home, but relied upon, it could negatively impact patient care.

Three menus at the bottom offer the topic home page, a smart calculator and bookmarks you can add to or arrange.  It is a clean and easy to use design and the information is excellent to review.  Any time you pull out your phone to play a game you could be reviewing the included Spanish translations guide, complete with pronunciation key, or reviewing just what Acebutolol does.

There is one downside, the cost.  Personally I don’t like paying for apps on my phone.  But, considering the paper version of this guide is $21.95, the app is a steal at half the price.

Had I a scoring system in place it would do very well.  Perhaps I should get one.

You can find out more at Informed’s website, as well as links to other valuable guides in the EMS, nursing, fire and law enforcement arenas.

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