There has been a launch of a mobile phone application that guides medics through treatment for heart attack victims.
Daniel Low, consultant anesthetist at the Royal United Hospital in Bath, designed the iResus application for iPhones, which aims to reduce the risk of human error by prompting clinicians through a checklist of things to do when resuscitating critically ill patients in or near cardiac arrest.
AdvertisementThe prompts depend on the age and condition of the patient and a more basic version is also available for first aiders.
Almost 2,500 people - mainly UK doctors - downloaded the application in the first week, and since then it has been downloaded by 1,200 people a week.
Low was inspired to create the application after working alongside air ambulance helicopter pilots who previously worked for the military.
He saw that during in-flight emergencies, airmen would refer to instruction cards known as flight reference charts, which guided them through the crisis and helped to reduce the margin for human error.
"Even though doctors and nurses are trained to deal with someone having a cardiac arrest, it's not a situation they will face every day and I thought both medics and patients would benefit from an application such as this," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.
The program was produced in collaboration with iMobileMedic.com and the Resuscitation Council (UK).