Alarm Fatigue Report

Alarms alert staff when a patient is experiencing abnormal ranges set by each machine company. A variety of alarms can sound, such as those for blood pressure machines, ventilators, and ECG monitors. In the ICU it is crucial for staff to listen for the alarms to alert them of issues a patient may be experiencing. Often the patient may move causing the alarm to sound excessively. In her article Monitor Alarm Fatigue: An Integrative Review, Maria Cvach, MS, RN, CCRN, (2012) explains “Medical devices generate enough false alarms to cause a reduction in responding known as the cry wolf effect” (p.268). When nurses adjust to these sounds, the patients’ wellbeing is at risk that can lead to hazards, and a decrease in their safety. Since alarms …show more content…
When alarms are disabled the patient is the one who directly suffers. When there is an increase of stress, fatigue, concentration, and tension the worker will be more likely to ignore the sound of alarms. There have been several unnecessary deaths related to the negligence of healthcare workers. Although not all alarms are relating to an emergency, if a worker is in the habit of ignoring alarms, there will be an emergency one day that goes overlooked. As stated by Kelly Creighton, RN, BS, (2010) in her article Monitor Alarm Fatigue: Standardizing Use of Physiological Monitors and Decreasing Nuisance Alarms, “Although alarms are important and sometimes life-saving, they can compromise patients’ safety if ignored” (p.28). In the ICU, there are alarms on the major machines regarding heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen, ECG, and ventilators. These alarms ensure the patient is functioning properly. The ventilators are essential for keeping patient’s breathing, and a hose or cord detaches it is extremely important for staff to fix the problem immediately. When these problems are ignored, the repercussions are not always reversible. The facility and staff become liable for lawsuits when the patient is neglected. After the community finds out about the hospital’s reputation, there will be a decrease in trust with that facility. As well …show more content…
By introducing the problem of nuisance alarms, nurses can be aware of the problem and work towards preventing this fatigue. Once nurses are aware of the problem, they can work together to monitor the alarm sounds which will improve patient care. There are several companies that are reevaluating the disabling switch on the machines. When nurses approach the patient and evaluate the cause of the alarm, patient safety can be ensured. The hazards of alarm fatigue are overwhelming to family members and the patients. The goal of nursing is a safe and healing environment for patients and to provide this nurse’s must be alert to the devices required for each patient. As nurses, it is our responsibility to ensure the devices are working properly for each patient, and that we closely monitor the alarms necessary to provide the proper care for each

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