Saturday, May 19, 2012

Waking Up to “Alarm Fatigue”

It’s a problem so prevalent yet so subtle that it’s taken FDA involvement to bring it to the attention of the medical profession. They’re calling it “alarm fatigue,” and it refers to that endless beeping, buzzing, and blaring that patients, visitors, and medical staff are subject to throughout the day in hospitals. As detailed in this article, too many alarms going off can be the same as none going off – it’s impossible to decipher which ones are critically important, and which ones aren’t. Nurses and doctors alike are becoming desensitized to those very noises that are supposed to signal emergencies, as they all fade into background noise.

The FDA’s proposed solution is to enact a review process to ensure that new products do not beep or make other noises needlessly, hopefully clearing the airwaves a bit to return sounds that are actually important to their proper significance. They’re also looking into smarter ways of monitoring physiological signs, to use a combination of factors and readings to provide more accurate alarm events. Here at Devar, we’re dedicated to accurate and customizable alarms and monitors as well, for the medical industry and for others like wastewater and humidity. The ability to calibrate and set readings and critical events means that alarms will only go off when they need to, letting you know when your attention is really needed. For more information, contact us today!