The Importance Of Alarms

1064 Words 4 Pages
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…
16). The hazards of alarm fatigue should be taken seriously in the healthcare field. Due to the preset calibration of equipment, the alarms may over sound or under sound for patients who are outside of what is considered a normal range. The hazards can lead to a worsening of condition or even death. The purposes of the alarms are to alert staff to evaluate the situation and wellbeing of the patient. When nurses fail to do so, the patient is the one who suffers. With bed alarms, the patient could fall or get wedged between the railing of the bed, and these injuries are not covered by their insurance. Therefore, the hospital has to cover the cost of the treatment and repercussions of the injuries. The cost adds up quickly, and the facility can be shut down by State regulations. One hazard of the alarms that can be set to each individual is the next use may not be reset to the new individual. The previous settings on medication pumps may be under or over set for the new patient resulting in an overdose, under dose, or even death in some cases. It is critical for nurses to evaluate each device before attaching it to a patient. The hazards of alarm fatigue play an important role on the safety and wellbeing of the

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