Nurse Response to Alarms Low in Pediatric Units

 In Nurses Weekly

In a general hospital pediatric unit, nurses did not respond to 67% of physiologic monitor alarms, frequently finding no further assessment or clinical intervention necessary, according to a study published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

“Recent studies conducted in children’s hospitals have identified alarm rates of up to 152 alarms per patient per day outside of the intensive care unit, with as few as 1% being considered clinically important,” Amanda C. Schondelmeyer, MD, MSc, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and colleagues wrote. “Excessive alarms have been linked to alarm fatigue, when providers become desensitized to and may miss alarms indicating impending patient deterioration… An enhanced understanding of why nurses respond to alarms in daily practice will inform intervention development and improvement work. In the long term, this information could help improve systems for monitoring pediatric inpatients that are less prone to issues with alarm fatigue.”

To assess responses to alarms, researchers…



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