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Alarm Fatigue

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Alarm Fatigue Alarm fatigue is a growing national problem within the health care industry that links medical technology as a serious hazard that poses a significant threat to patient safety within hospitals across the country. Alarm fatigue occurs when nurses encounter an overwhelming amount of alarms thus becoming desensitized to the firing alarms. Alarm desensitization is a multifaceted issue that is related to the number of alarming medical devices, a high false alarm rate, and the lack of alarm standardization in hospitals today (Cvach, 2012). Desensitization can lead to delayed response times, alarms silenced or turned off, or alarms adjusted to unsafe limits, which can create a dangerous situation for the patient. Alarm fatigue has been identified as having negative effects on patients as well as healthcare professionals. Many hospitals have reported that alarm-related injuries have occurred due to the overwhelming amount of constant sounding alarms. Critical alarms cause nurses to tune out sounds, which in turn triggers the brain to adjust to stimulation, thus causing a healthcare professional to disregard the alarms. Hospital alarms can come from an array of devices including blood pressure machines, oxygen saturation devices, sleep apnea devices, fall prevention alarms, intravenous pumps, patient-controlled analgesia pumps, patient call systems, ventilators, telephones, anti-embolism pumps, and heart monitors. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the problem of alarm fatigue by applying leadership and management principles, theories, and concepts for organizational change.
Review of Literature Health care demands have become increasingly challenging with today’s rapid change in technology; nevertheless, medical device alarms have also increased considerably. Alarm fatigue greatly interferes with patient safety and exposes patients to grave…...

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