'Alarm fatigue' may pose a threat to responsive care

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“Alarm fatigue” appears to be undermining care at many facilities, according to a recent report in the Boston Globe. The paper says more than 200 deaths nationwide over the past five years have been associated with problems related to patient monitor alarms. The term refers to the response—or lack of it—of caregivers to numerous types of alarms that can sound throughout a day. Many times, nurses don't hear alarms, ignore them or silence them without responding to the patient, according to the paper.