April 1, 2013
While alarms on equipment in hospitals are aimed at protecting patient safety, new data suggests they may have the opposite effect. The Connecticut Post recently discussed this problem and what hospitals in the region are doing to solve it.
Data from the Department of Public Health showed that a growing number of alarms used on equipment like heart rate monitors and ventilators, and the subsequent false alarms, had desensitized hospital staff to the sound. This, in turn, resulted in slower response times by nurses and staff.
This "alarm fatigue" resulted in a total of 216 deaths nationwide over a five-year period. Such errors have also led to accidents that have resulted in some patients filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit.
Despite these risks, experts say the alarms are needed. So, to help eliminate the problem, many hospitals in Connecticut have begun to adopt programs aimed at better educating hospital staff. For instance, the Hospital of Central Connecticut has adopted several checklists staff must run through in the event of an alarm, while the Bridgeport Hospital has implemented the use of "talking bed rails" to better protect patients who may be at risk of a slip and fall accident.
Carter Mario Injury Lawyers and their team of Connecticut Personal Injury Attorneys are hopeful the efforts being made at medical facilities in the state will better protect patients from slow responses by hospital staff to equipment alarms.