Continuous exposure to clinical alarms contributes to alarm fatigue in nurses, causing them to become desensitized or simply ignore the alarms. Serious consequences for patients may result, even consequences leading to death. Only 1% to 26% of monitoring alarms have been deemed clinically actionable, but few studies have been focused on the frequency of true arrhythmia alarms and the effects of turning them off.
Suba and colleagues explored the clinical relevancy of true accelerated ventricular rhythm (AVR) alarms in adult patients in intensive care units. They found the following:
AVR alarms are the highest contributor to false alarms, and true AVR alarms are infrequent. The authors recommend hospitals reevaluate the monitoring of AVR alarms and consider use of an inaudible message to reduce alarm desensitivity and fatigue.
See Article, pp 222-229
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