When a person thinks about a wrongful death occurring at a hospital, they most probably associate with a surgical mistake. The doctor may have pierced a vital organ or operated on the wrong body part, and even may have failed to diagnose a deadly medical condition. Regardless of the conceptions that people may have of wrongful deaths at a hospital, many new research shows that “alarm fatigue” is becoming a cause for concern.
Currently, this error is listed as a top technological hazard within the medical field. So, what is an “alarm fatigue”? People who have been in a hospital may have heard the constant beeping of different machinery within the hospital facility like ventilators and heart rate monitors. Every machinery has a different sound to alarm the medical staff of any complications that may arise.
On average, an alarm is heard every 66 seconds by medical personnel, according to the Children’s National Medical Center Neonatal ICU. However, because of the frequency, nurses, physicians, and other medical professional have become desensitized to these alarms. They hear it so much that their ears block the sounds out, sometimes unintentionally. In other cases, these alarms are sometimes even turned off to avoid disturbances.
These alarms have been set as a safety measure to monitor a patient’s condition because nurses are not there 24/7 to see if a person’s condition is deteriorating. When a nurse or other medical professional do not react to an alarm, they can be found liable for damages caused.
What Types of Alarms Are Within a Hospital Setting?
Hospitals have three types of alarms that monitor a patient.
Arrhythmia: Change in person’s heart rhythm
Parameter Violation: Vital sign measurement
Technical Alarms: Signal quality of the devices like low battery
Alarm Fatigue and Wrongful Death
With the advances in technology, more and more devices are being created to ensure patient’s safety, and with more devices, more noise will come from them. Wrongful death has been linked to alarm fatigue in hospital settings. In fact, in 2012, the Joint commission received 98 incidences of alarm fatigue injuries, out of those 98, 80 of them resulted in a patient’s death.
The different sounds and alarms that come off of these devices need to be taking into consideration by the medical professionals no matter how loud or annoying the device may be. These devices are there to notify them of any sudden changes in a person’s vital signs. Disregarding the alarms can cause a patient to suffer serious damage and even death.
Wrongful Death by Alarm Fatigue Lawyers in Orlando
What’s that sound? It could be the indication of a person going into cardiac arrest. Responding quickly to these alarms can be the difference between life and death. Failing to respond to these alarms by desensitizing them could result in a wrongful death claim when the patient dies as a result. Percy Martinez and his colleagues know that every sound matters. Even when a nurse is so used to the sound, they need to check on the alarm. The firm in Orlando helps the victims of a wrongful death by alarm fatigue recover a monetary award for their families.