'Alarm fatigue' sees doctors ignoring monitors 63% of time

ED staff are at risk of becoming 'desensitised' to beeping machines, US researchers say

Only a tiny fraction of the regular din of beeping patient alarms in the ED actually signals a condition important enough to require a change in the patient's care, a US study finds.

emergency room

Yet the nearly constant noise tends to desensitise hospital staff to the sounds, a phenomenon dubbed "alarm fatigue," which can result in real emergencies being missed, researchers warn in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Patients who are not critically ill need to be monitored, but "that doesn't mean every little thing needs to

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