Infusion pump nuisance alarms are disruptive to patient care

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The findings of an infusion pump alarm survey indicated that nurses overwhelmingly agree that infusion pump nuisance alarms occur frequently and disrupt patient care” Vitoux et al (2018).

Abstract:

Between 1983 and 2011, equipment-related alarms in critical care have increased from 6 to 40 different alarm types. As nurses become overwhelmed, distracted, or desensitized by alarm noise, they may miss critical alarms that could result in patient harm. The findings of an infusion pump alarm survey indicated that nurses overwhelmingly agree that infusion pump nuisance alarms occur frequently and disrupt patient care. But nurses’ perceptions of pump alarms are different from those previously reported for clinical alarms in general. It may not be appropriate to broadly apply general alarm management recommendations to infusion pump alarms at this time.

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Reference:
Vitoux, R.R., Schuster, C. and Glover, K.R. (2018) Perceptions of Infusion Pump Alarms: Insights Gained From Critical Care Nurses. Journal of Infusion Nursing 41(5), p.309-318.

doi: 10.1097/NAN.0000000000000295.

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