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Are Patient Alarms Responsible for Medical Malpractice Cases?


The Joint Commission, the nation’s largest hospital accreditation organization, has issued a warning to hospitals and the public at large about the dangers of patient monitor alarm fatigue, a syndrome that desensitizes physicians and hospital staff and can lead to medical malpractice from patient alarms being ignored in critical circumstances.

These alarms are used for a variety of hospital devices, including ventilators, blood pressure monitors, and infusion pumps. In some cases, use of these devices has been found to compromise patient safety – as their constant alarm sounds can go unnoticed for a number of reasons including a process called desensitization.

Complicating things, the Commission found that as many as 85% to 99% of device alarms are false, or nuisance alarms not requiring a response. 

Bombarded by an endless stream of alarms —often many hundreds a day—hospital staffs often turn off the volume of the alarm, turn down the volume, or adjust the alarms settings to unsafe levels—all of which, according to the Commission,  can have serious, often fatal, consequences for patients.

The Commission is considering creating a National Patient Safety Goal to look specifically at alarm fatigue.  The ECRI Institute, a not-for-profit safety group, has also included alarm fatigue on its annual list of top 10 health technology hazards since 2010. For 2013, alarm hazards were ranked No. 1.

If you are ever the victim of medical malpractice call a qualified Connecticut medical malpractice lawyer. A knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer can help to ensure that your rights are protected.

RisCassi & Davis has handled hundreds of medical malpractice cases over our more than 65 years serving the people of Connecticut. 

What’s more, our Connecticut medical malpractice lawyers have received local and national recognition for our handling of these cases including:

  • Top listing in “The Best Lawyers in America” and “Best Law Firms”
  • Top listing by Martindale-Hubbell as a “New England Top Rated AV Preeminent® Law Firm.
  • Admission of five of our personal injury lawyers as members in the very prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers.  The American College is a professional society of Fellows who become members only by invitation, with admission limited to experienced, outstanding trial lawyers who are unquestionably and eminently qualified as actively engaged trial lawyers.  Only 1% of all trial lawyers in any state are offered admission as members to the College.
  • Listing in New England Super Lawyers published by Connecticut Magazine.  Less than 5% of attorneys in the New England states receive this honor
  • Lifetime Achievement awards from the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association
  • Board Certification by the National Board of Trial Advocacy

We have a great team dedicated to medical malpractice cases.  Our offices are in Hartford but we are available to meet with you in your home or office if that is easier for you. Please contact us if we can help you.

The consultation is free and there is no obligation of any kind.

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