Alarm fatigue: An alarming situation

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Publication Type honors thesis
School or College College of Nursing
Department Nursing
Faculty Mentor Alex Doig
Creator Kooyman, Makaelyn
Title Alarm fatigue: An alarming situation
Year graduated 2015
Date 2014-12
Description As the healthcare system of the United States continues to advance technologically, it seems that one cannot enter an intensive care unit (ICU) without being inundated with alarms from various monitors and pumps. Alarm fatigue, defined as the lack of response to an alarm due to sensory overload and desensitization, is becoming an increasing problem across the nation. Improving clinical alarm safety was named a Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goal in 2014 and the Emergency Care Research Institute (ECRI) has listed alarms on its Top Ten Hazards List since 2007. Alarms are important and lifesaving, but when the false positive alarm rates are higher than they should be, there is an increase in the potential for nursing staff to ignore, silence, or disable the alarms. These actions have serious consequences and negatively impact patient care. Alarm fatigue affects various aspects of medical and nursing care. Research has shown that excessive alarms delay healing. Family trust is affected by lack of response of nursing staff to alarms. Stress symptoms like headaches and irritability increase in patient populations, and can even lead to a condition known as delirium or ICU psychosis. In the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), this problem of alarm fatigue is particularly troubling for infants at risk for a condition known as retinopathy of prematurity (ROP.) Premature infants with gestational ages at birth ranging from 23 to 33 weeks are at a particularly high risk for periodic breathing and/or apnea. An oxygen saturation outside of strict parameters can lead to permanent eye damage, or even blindness.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Patient monitoring - Nursing; Monitor alarms (Medicine); Nurses - Attitudes; Medical instruments and apparatus; Alarm reaction
Language eng
Rights Management (c) Mikaelyn Kooyman
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 25,058 bytes
Identifier honors/id/11
Permissions Reference URL
ARK ark:/87278/s65m9fzm
Setname ir_htoa
Date Created 2016-06-27
Date Modified 2018-10-30
ID 205663
Reference URL
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