As much as I enjoyed the technical aspects of the article by Korniewicz and colleagues,1 it did seem to beg the question, “Who’s even there to hear the alarm?” An adequate alarm system does not make up for the inadequate staffing patterns that are so prevalent in intensive care units across the United States.

The article mentioned the 23 injury and death reports associated with mechanical ventilation. Why isn’t a patient who is dependent on a ventilator assigned one nurse to care for him or her, as is the case in England? Wouldn’t we be better patient advocates if we argued for safe staffing instead of better alarms?

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