iPhone app helps doctors prepare for medical emergencies

Doctors perform better with iResus app than relying on memory

Watch this video of the iResus in action: YouTube - Study: iResus iPhone App Helps Doctors Prepare for Medical Emergencies

Doctors who used an iPhone application performed significantly better in a simulated medical emergency than those who did not, according to a study led by Daniel Low, MD of Seattle Children’s Hospital. The study is published in the April issue of Anaesthesia.

“Every year approximately 250,000 people in the U.S. die from sudden cardiac arrest. Despite significant advances in resuscitation research, survival rates for adults suffering a cardiac arrest remain poor,” said Low, anesthesiologist at Seattle Children’s and assistant professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Low developed the application for the United Kingdom (U.K.) Resuscitation Council.

The purpose of the study was to see if the iResus application, which uses adult and pediatric algorithms and provides appropriate and user-friendly prompts, produced better results in a simulated medical emergency than relying purely on memory. Thirty-one doctors who had received advanced life-support training in the last four years were recruited to take part in the study at the Royal United Hospital, Bath, U.K.

The doctors were divided into two groups, one armed with the iResus and the other without. They were then put through a simulated cardiac arrest emergency, assisted by a nurse, and their knowledge and skills were evaluated using the CASTest scoring system. Doctors who used the iResus application scored an average of 85 out of 100, which was significantly higher than the 72 average achieved in the control group.

More than 60,000 free copies of the iResus have already been downloaded.

“Our study provides further support for the current evidence that CPR prompt devices improve skills and can lead to a better outcome when a patient suffers a cardiac arrest,” concludes Low. “A healthcare professional recently told us that they had used it when they were involved in an out-of-hospital pediatric emergency. Being able to refer to pediatric drug doses they were unfamiliar with helped them to save a child’s life.”

“We believe that this simple application, which can be downloaded for free, provides valuable additional support for all doctors faced with a life-saving emergency,” said Low.

Low’s study collaborators are: N. Clark, J. Nolan and A. Padkin of Royal United Hospital, Bath, U.K.; J. Soar of Southmead Hospital, Bristol, U.K.; A. Stoneham of University of Bristol, Bristol, U.K.; G.D. Perkins of University of Warwick, Warwick, U.K.

About Seattle Children’s

Seattle Children’s Hospital, Foundation and Research Institute together deliver superior patient care, advance new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients. Consistently ranked as one of the top 10 children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s Hospital specializes in meeting the unique physical, emotional and developmental needs of children from infancy through young adulthood. Through the collaboration of physicians in nearly 60 pediatric subspecialties, Seattle Children’s Hospital provides inpatient, outpatient, diagnostic, surgical, rehabilitative, behavioral, and emergency and outreach services to families from around the world.

Located in downtown Seattle’s biotech corridor, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is pushing the boundaries of medical research to find cures for pediatric diseases and improve outcomes for children all over the world. Internationally recognized investigators and staff at the research institute are advancing new discoveries in cancer, genetics, immunology, pathology, infectious disease, injury prevention, bioethics and much more.

Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation and Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association work together to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care, clinical care and research. The foundation receives nearly 80,000 gifts each year, from lemonade stand proceeds to corporate sponsorships. Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association is the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, serving as the umbrella organization for 450 groups of people who turn an activity they love into a fundraiser. Support from the foundation and guild association makes it possible for Seattle Children’s care and research teams to improve the health and well-being of all kids.

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