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ECG monitor alarm, is it a helper or a murderer?
- 2019-06-20-

Jieruitai Medical introduces the bedside monitor to be an indispensable monitoring device for every patient in the intensive care unit. It monitors and analyzes the patient's heart rate, heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and oxygen saturation. The monitor alarm is used to prompt the medical staff to have existing or potential changes in the condition, or the instrument equipment has failed and needs to be processed in time. Therefore, whether the ECG monitor can accurately measure and alarm the patient's condition and whether the medical staff can correctly respond and handle the alarm in a timely manner is directly related to the patient's life safety.

However, instrument alarms bring convenience and help to medical quality, but also bring new medical risks. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Manufacturers and Users' Institutional Device Use (MAUDE) database announced that 566 patient deaths in the United States between 2005 and 2008 were associated with monitor alarms. In fact, the reporting rate of instrument-related incidents is very low, and the actual death or injury data associated with the alarm is much higher than the data provided by the database.

Therefore, the Emergency Care Research Institute of the United States (ECRI) released the eighth medical technology risk prediction report “Top Ten Medical Technology Hazards in 2015” at the end of 2014, which was generated from the severity. The frequency, scope of influence, potential hazard, and degree of concern were selected as the selection criteria, and the alarm hazard once again ranked first. The root cause of the instrument alarm becoming a murderer is the high incidence of false alarms.

Studies have found that on average, each patient can have 150-400 alarms per day in the intensive care unit, and some even up to 700 alarms. Japanese scholar Ryota Inokuchi recorded the number of alarms in an 18-bed general intensive care unit, with 11,591 alarms in 2687 hours, which means that an alarm can occur every 14 minutes. However, most alarms do not accurately reflect the actual condition of the patient or equipment and do not require medical interventions by the medical staff. Therefore, reducing the occurrence of false alarms and strengthening the alarm management of the instrument is an important prerequisite for ensuring patient safety.