Hospital group says 'alarm fatigue' can be deadly

April 8, 2013 by Lindsey Tanner

(AP)—Constantly beeping alarms in hospitals are being linked to patient deaths and other dangers in a new alert from the Joint Commission.

The alarms can lead to "noise ," and doctors and nurses sometimes inadvertently ignore the sounds when there's a real patient emergency, possibly resulting in treatment delays that endanger patients.

That's according to the alert issued Monday by the Joint Commission hospital accrediting group.

The group says a government database lists more than 500 deaths potentially linked with hospital alarms in recent years.

The commission says hospital leaders need to address the problem and train in safe alarm management.

The Joint Commission accredits more than 10,000 U.S. hospital and . Hospitals covet accreditation and following commission advice is key to maintaining it.

Explore further: Researchers question key quality measure for asthma

shares

Related Stories

Researchers question key quality measure for asthma

October 4, 2011
Researchers studying the first national quality measure for hospitalized children have found that no matter how strictly a health care institution followed the criteria, it had no actual impact on patient outcomes.

Study finds accreditation improves safety culture at nursing homes

April 27, 2012
Accredited nursing homes report a stronger resident safety culture than nonaccredited facilities, according to a new study published in the May 2012 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

Primary stroke centers more likely to be in states with certification programs

May 15, 2011
Searching public databases in 2010, researchers looked at the distribution of primary stroke centers, designated such by state health departments or national organizations (such as The Joint Commission in collaboration with ...

Bed alarms not proven to prevent patient falls in hospitals, researchers say

November 21, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—Equipping hospital beds with alarms does not decrease patient falls and related injuries, according to University of Florida researchers and colleagues. The findings, published Nov. 20 in the Annals of ...

Recommended for you

Suicide and homicide rates show large racial disparities across US states

April 23, 2018
Southern and Western states have the highest rates of white firearm suicide, while Midwestern states have highest rates of black firearm homicide, according to new research from McGill University. The findings place a spotlight ...

Upswings in older-age cognitive ability may not be universal

April 23, 2018
A growing body of evidence indicates that rates of dementia may be declining, in part because older adults' cognitive abilities, such as learning and memory functions, are better than those of older adults in the past. But ...

Alcohol intake may be linked to premenstrual syndrome

April 23, 2018
Drinking alcohol may be linked to pre-menstrual syndrome, or PMS for short, suggests a pooled analysis of published study data in the online journal BMJ Open.

Vigorous physical activity may be linked to heightened risk of motor neurone disease

April 23, 2018
Vigorous physical activity, either in leisure time or in work, may be linked to a heightened risk of developing motor neurone disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS for short, suggests research published ...

Fetal exposure to moderate/high caffeine levels linked to excess childhood weight gain

April 23, 2018
Exposure to moderate to high caffeine levels while in the womb is linked to excess weight gain in early childhood, suggests a large observational study published in the online journal BMJ Open.

A dose of empathy may support patients in pain

April 20, 2018
Research published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine suggests that empathic, positive messages from doctors may be of small benefit to patients suffering from pain, and improve their satisfaction about the care ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

PeterD
1 / 5 (1) Apr 09, 2013
With the technology we have today, there is no reason hospital have to be noisier than a five alarm fire. FIX IT, YOU IDIOTS!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.