Another Hospital Death Due To “Alarm Fatigue”

alarm clock.jpgLast summer, a 60-year old man died at UMass Memorial Hospital. Apparently, for an hour before the man’s death, alarm bells were ringing indicating that the patient had a fast heart rate and potential breathing problems. But the alarms went unanswered.
The incident was only reported to state officials this spring and, according to The Boston Globe, the man’s death is being investigated as another case of “alarm fatigue.”
“Alarm fatigue” is a catchall term for a growing phenomenon in hospitals. It can describe situations where doctors and nurses shut off an incessantly ringing monitor to avoid its unpleasant sound, as well as situations where an alarm goes off audibly but it is either consciously or unconsciously ignored by health care providers who have become desensitized to its tone.

This blog in maintained by the Boston medical malpractice lawyers at The Law Office of Alan H. Crede, P.C.