Patients continually put in danger due to alarm fatigue

From Fierce Healthcare:

Patient monitor alarms alert healthcare professionals that something is wrong. Yet, as we’ve reported many times before, the relentless beeps can overwhelm or desensitize hospital staff, sometimes leading to alarms being silenced, turned off or ignored. Now, a new Boston Globe special report examines the issue in detail.

By turning the alarms into background noise, “alarm fatigue” causes staff to ignore warnings from patient monitors or not respond as quickly, even in critical situations, which has led to patient deaths. In fact, more than 200 patients died nationwide because of problems with monitor alarms between January 2005 and June 2010, notes the Globe.

The Superhero Cape Burrito: A Simple and Comfortable Method of Short-term Procedural Restraint

From the Journal of Emergency Medicine:

Restraint is sometimes necessary to successfully perform procedures on pediatric patients in the emergency department. A papoose may be intimidating and uncomfortable, and a wrapped sheet may not keep the child’s arms from wiggling free.

Discussion: We present an adaptation of the wrapped sheet (burrito) technique, using a pillowcase to better immobilize the child’s arms. The arms are inserted in the pillowcase behind the child’s back, and then the child is placed supine over a horizontally placed sheet and turned to each side so the sheet is tucked behind the back. The child is thereby easily and comfortably restrained.

Conclusions:  We believe this technique more successfully restrains the child than the wrapped sheet alone, and is easier to execute than other wrapped sheet techniques aimed at improving arm immobilization.