Connecticut Medical Malpractice: Overriding Patient Alarms Can Be Dangerous

Thursday, May 31st, 2018 by | Posted In: Hospital Negligence, Medical Malpractice, Uncategorized

A new study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that overriding alerts that are relevant can lead to patient harm. Hospitals use alarms to monitor patients and when technology is utilized more frequently.

The study examined clinical decision support alarms in nearly 2,500 (July 2016 to September 2017) over-ridden alerts in 712 unique patients. While 81.6% of overrides were appropriate, the remaining 18.4% were six times as likely to be associated with an adverse drug event.

Other situations in which patient alarms can be be bypassed and can cause significant permanent injury include:

  1. Bed exit alarms. These alarms alert hospital and nursing staff when a patient has fallen.
  2. Pain assessment reminders. These reminders help healthcare providers assess pain in a timely manner to help prevent painkiller overuse.
  3. Alarm fatigue. Alarm fatigue is when hospital workers are tasked to respond to patient alarm signals. It is estimated that 85-90% of alarms do not need any intervention. Prioritizing alarms could combat this issue.

If you or your loved one had a hospital stay and staff did not swiftly and properly respond to an alert that caused a significant, permanent injury, call our firm immediately. Our Connecticut medical malpractice team comprises a doctor/attorney, Bob Messey, and a nurse/attorney, Gayle Sullivan, along with several experienced litigators.

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