Are Patient Alarms Responsible for Medical Malpractice Cases?

The Joint Commission, the nation’s largest hospital accreditation Is_your_hospital_doing_everything_it_can_to_prevent_medical_malpractice?organization, has issued a warning to hospitals and the public at large about the dangers of patient monitor alarm fatigue, a syndrome that desensitizes physicians and hospital staffs and can lead to medical malpractice from patient alarms being ignored in critical circumstances.

These alarms are used for a variety of hospital devices, including ventilators, blood pressure monitors and infusion pumps.  In some cases use of these devices has been found to compromise patient safety – as their constant alarm sounds can go unnoticed for a number of reasons including a process called desensitization.

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