With alarms beeping all day, nurses and doctors can become desensitized to the sound. This happens even more frequently, when many of the alarms are false ones. When a nurse or doctor fails to check, however, and the alarm isn’t a false one, disaster can result for the patient. All too often, alarm fatigue results in patient injury or fatality, when all it would have taken is a nurse checking to make sure everything was okay, and acting when they discovered that it wasn’t.
If you or a loved one suffered needlessly, due to alarm fatigue, contact your Boston medical malpractice lawyer, and we’ll make sure justice is delivered.
How Alarm Fatigue Leads to Medical Malpractice
Nurses and doctors hear many different alarms in a day, and most of them are false ones. Sometimes, the sounds of alarms blur together as the day goes on, and one bell sounds just like any other. A few of the ways that alarm fatigue can lead to medical malpractice include:
• The ‘cry wolf’ phenomenon – repeated false alarms lead to a delayed response
• Relentless false alarms – nurses are busy checking on patients with malfunctioning monitors
• Nurse fails to properly reset a monitor after a false alarm
• Nurses and patients tire of the noise, so the volume on the monitors is lowered
New FDA Safety Guidelines for Preventing Alarm Fatigue – Will it Work?
The FDA is responsible for inspecting the monitors that are being used on patients. With alarm fatigue being a known risk that’s garnered a lot of attention, they’ve adjusted their guidelines. Some of the new guidelines include:
• Considering how alarms will interact with each other
• New and improved healthcare provider training
• Eliminating any unnecessary alarms
• Maintaining equipment to prevent false alarms
• Avoiding the growing problem of understaffed hospitals and care facilities
The FDA has reported over 500 patient deaths from 2005 – 2010 that were related to alarm fatigue and monitor misuse. While these new safety guidelines will hopefully help prevent alarm fatigue medical malpractice, patient injuries and even fatalities may still result. If you or a loved one has been the victim of an alarm fatigue related injury or death, contact a Boston medical malpractice lawyer to see justice done.
How a Boston Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help
Your Boston medical malpractice lawyer will work with a specialized team to investigate your case. If medical malpractice is found, whether it’s related to alarm fatigue or not, we’ll take your case to court. Your Boston medical malpractice lawyer will help to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your additional injuries and emotional trauma, and we’ll make sure that the caregiver or facility responsible is held accountable.