Alarm Fatigue

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Technological advancements have brought efficiency and effectiveness of all aspects of human life. In the health care sector, physiological activities can be effectively carried out by the patient’s bedside through use of modernized equipment’s. The machines function through production of specific sound and in case conditions deviate from the normal range, they consequently and automatically vary the type of sound produced calling for urgent attention from doctors. The alarms have been proven to be of paramount importance in the health sector, however, they have been giving rise to alarm fatigue. This is a condition where sensory stimulus becomes overloaded amounting to sensory desensitization a condition which can make the attendant’s to…show more content…
Research studies show that exposing nurses to disturbances constantly adversely affects their response to an extent of even turning off the alarms (McKinney, 2013). Consequently, incidences can result especially to the sick units due to those disturbing sounds which subsequently result to alarm fatigue. An alert has been raised by the Joint commission due a recent sentinel event which was heavily associated to alarm fatigue (Horkan, 2014). Research statistics by the Joint commission between 2009 and 2012 indicate that 80 death and 13 injury cases occurred as a result of alarm fatigue. Further findings from Food and Drug Administration carried out between January 2009 to June 2010, reveal that a total of 560 death occurred due to alarm fatigue and the associated effects (McKinney, 2013). According to Horkan (2014), all these associated factors to the alarm fatigue can be due to improper alarm setting, malfunctioning, turning off or even reducing the volume of the…show more content…
According to Graham, & Cvach (2010), some of these factors entail but not limited to; frequent levels of alarm rate, lack of adequate standardization of clinical alarms and presence of several bedside equipment’s which substantially contribute to desensitization and alarm fatigue. The alarms are designed in such a way that they are audible enough for the nurses not to miss any single alarm. The way in which some of these alarms are set is such that rather than helping medical attendants, they become a nuisance which adversely affects health care fraternity (Graham & Cvach, 2010). Evidence-based interventions to minimize alarm fatigue Due to the negative impact which it attributable to a greater percentage by the alarm fatigue, it is paramount for the healthcare fraternity to come up with satisfactory mitigation plans and approach to the issue. In the light of the above, evidence based approach should be adopted to mitigate the impact of nuisance alarms in hospitals. Taking a case of a pilot project carried out at John Hopkins Hospital in 2005, a strong project team was identified where they found that with proper alarm management, it is possible that critical frequency of alarms can be reduced to a satisfactory level which resultantly would not have adverse effect to the patient (Meeks,
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