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Save a life with your iPhone or iPod touch


If you came upon someone who was injured or had suffered a medical emergency, would you know how to react? In the midst of a crisis situation, even citizens who have been trained in first aid sometimes forget what they need to do to help save a life.

Several iPhone apps are now available to give you a hand. PhoneAid, First Aid, and 1st Reponse: Emergency Kit are all designed to be at your fingertips in the event of an emergency. Although it might be difficult or impossible to read an iPhone screen and perform CPR at the same time, the apps can help you or someone else give instructions in a panic situation.

Entanke's PhoneAid (click opens iTunes) provides verbal prompts telling you how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the Heimlich Maneuver on adults and children. It also has a handy "First Aid A-Z" section covering medical emergencies from bee stings to strokes. PhoneAid, shown at right, is available in the App Store at no cost until October 26. After that time, the price will be US$2.99.

Intranda Software and neeed apps hope to save a few lives with their new iPhone / iPod touch app, First Aid (click opens iTunes). The US$0.99 app, available in English, French, German, and Spanish, uses a different approach than PhoneAid by displaying a series of yes/no questions that take you through the process of helping a person in a medical emergency. There's also a large green call button that automatically dials your local emergency responders and prompts you for the information you'll need to provide. Rather than providing verbal instructions, First Aid has a set of flash card-like pictures that show you what to do to check airway, breathing, and circulation.

1st Response: Emergency Kit (click opens iTunes), from Creative Coefficient, combines the best of the first two apps and then goes further in terms of being a helpful emergency tool. The one-tap emergency call screen is not only pre-populated with the number of the local responders, but also has one-tap dialing for your own personal emergency contacts.

A number of How-To resources built into Emergency Kit provide detailed information on what to do in dangerous situations, how to perform basic roadside repairs to your vehicle, and a complete illustrated first aid guide. If you're performing first aid on a person in a dark location, Emergency Kit has a light that can be adjusted from pinpoint to floodlight settings. It also has a universal SOS and distress strobe that is visible from up to 170 yards (155+ meters) away.

Even more helpful is that Emergency Kit can give information to responders in case you're the one who is injured. A medical profile contains information on your physician, medical alerts, current health status, insurance, and more. 1st Response: Emergency Kit is available for $2.99 until November 1st, at which time the pricing may change. The app has been localized in English, German, French, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.

While some iPhone and iPod touch apps have dubious utility, a first aid app can give you the confidence and knowledge you need to assist others in an emergency.

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