Monday, April 12, 2010

‘Alarm fatigue’ linked to patient’s death

Article at by Liz Kowalczyk on 3 April 2010

Investigations into the death have concluded that desensitization to alarms was a factor in the patient’s death. The article says this is "a national problem with heart sensors and other ubiquitous patient monitoring devices. Numerous deaths have been reported because of alarm fatigue, as beeps are ignored or go unheard, or because monitors are accidentally turned off or purposely disabled by staff who find the noise aggravating."

I'm well aware of the concerns about alarm overload of control room operators in the process industry. I'm not surprised to find it is an issue in medicine.