What we do in the ED does little to alter the disease course for a great many of our patients, but critical timely interventions can mean the difference between life and death for our cardiac arrest patients. Just how critical the timeliness, sequence, and thoroughness of those interventions are is the subject of a new iOS app named “CPR Game” by EM Gladiators ($1.99).
The CPR Game is a cardiac arrest simulator that starts with a short clinical vignette, and proceeds to offer a series of interventions to perform on an amusingly drawn patient. A scoring area keeps track of successful critical actions and harmful actions. You have to complete every critical action and avoid performing any harmful actions, all within stringent guideline-based time restrictions, to win the game.
Critical actions include checking for pulse before assessing airway, checking rhythm within 60 seconds of game start, and never stopping compressions for more than 10 seconds. Just as in real codes, every action is under your direction: when you place the monitor, how fast compressions are performed, how long you hold compressions to check a pulse or perform a cardiac ultrasound.
The real beauty of this game is how well it reinforces the idea that certain actions have to be done in a certain sequence and within a specific timeframe, such as immediate placement of a monitor and early cardioversion; otherwise the patient is unable to be resuscitated. You learn very quickly that your decisions have to be organized and quick if you want your patient to survive, great lessons for any emergency physician.
The CPR Game is highly recommended for all practicing emergency physicians and residents. Kudos to the developers for coming up with a really fun way to learn!
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