Every patient in the intensive care unit is connected to some type of monitoring equipment. These days, with increasing acuity seen across the spectrum of critical care, the number of monitors and thus the number of potential alarms has increased as well. The purpose of alarms is to alert the nurse or other care providers to a situation that falls outside certain parameters. Many monitors or pieces of equipment allow the provider to determine the parameters for individual patients. Others are either predetermined by the manufacturer or by the ability of the monitor to “learn” patients’ normal variations. The ultimate goal is to monitor the patient safely while preventing nuisance or annoyance alarms.
For cardiac monitoring:
For pulse oximetry monitoring: