Alarm Fatigue

Alarm Fatigue

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
| Joel 2:1-2,12-17

Special Installment: Ash Wednesday
It's alarming: New reports suggest that, with all the alarms that go off in a hospital room, some health care professionals don't get too concerned.

Walk into your neighborhood hospital and the first thing you'll realize is that the place is full of beds, but no one in those beds actually gets any rest. Patients in recovery from illness or surgery are constantly poked and jostled by nurses at all hours of the day and night, family members hover at the bedside, the food tray comes in and sometimes even the pastor shows up to visit -- at the exact moment the patient has finally drifted off into something resembling sleep!

Perhaps even more obnoxious than all these distractions, however, is the constant beeping, booping, wailing and chirping of a gaggle of monitoring devices to which the patient is attached. The IV stand beeps when it's empty. The blood pressure alarm screams when the patient shifts in bed. The ventilator bongs whenever the patient coughs, and the heart rate monitor gives its telltale flat-line whine when one of the stick-on pads comes loose. It's enough to make a person sick.

Thing is, though, most of these alarms are ...

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