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When Hospital Alarms Are Ignored


A stay in the hospital can be an emotional and traumatic experience for most anyone. This is especially true when you or someone you love must be continually monitored due to an illness or injury. A New York Medical Malpractice Attorney also claims that their very lives often depend on the monitoring equipment being fully functional, and on hospital staff paying close attention to any indications that something may be happening that will require their attention to be focused on the patient.

All have learned that the best-case scenario of when an alarm sounds from a medical monitoring device, it may by ignored by medical personnel. There are also cases that have been reported of these life-saving alarms may not be sounded at all. Some recent reports in the investigative media have specified more than a few problems with this life-saving system–Problems that have cost some people their lives, and has forever altered others.

Sources have told a NY Medical Malpractice Attorney that when these alarms are ignored by hospital staff, it may be referred to as “alarm fatigue.” Medical personnel are confronted by as many as 1,000 alarms a day, in some cases. That is an astounding number, and while there are many of the alarms that indicate that a patient is in distress, there are also many more of these alarms that are false. Medical personnel are people too, and people tend to become conditioned or desensitized to external stimuli when that stimulus is persistent in its duration. Just to note that some medical equipment emits constant beeps in addition to alarms, which further adds to this desensitization. Hospitals in Westchester County and Staten Island would do well to study this case and make sure they don’t suffer the same fate.

Human error is not the only contributing factors to alarm fatigue, however. Medical equipment manufacturers must also bear responsibility and should constantly strive to improve their products in order to reduce, or even better to eliminate, these false alarms.

When medical personnel allow alarm fatigue to set in, thereby allowing them to ignore these kinds of alarms, they are negligent in the performance of their duties and should be held accountable. These persons are charged with the safety and well-being of those who are at least temporarily unable to care for themselves, and are held to a higher standard of ethical and legal conduct.

If you suffered a serious, lasting injury or a loved one died as a result of another’s negligence or medical malpractice, we invite you to contact a New York Medical Malpractice Attorney who has substantial experience making manufacturers of defective drugs and medical devices, and negligent medical personnel pay.The firm of Stephen Bilkis & Associates and its New York Medical Malpractice Lawyers with convenient locations in the New York Metropolitan Area, including Brooklyn, NY, can be of invaluable assistance to you if you find yourself a victim of medical malpractice. Enduring pain, disfigurement and financial anguish without professional representation is not the path you should choose.

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