Alarms in emergency rooms rarely important, which can desensitize staff

From Reuters:

Walk into any emergency room in the U.S. and you’ll hear a regular din of beeping alarms going off from machines connected to patients. But a new study found only a tiny fraction of the alarms signals a condition important enough to require a change in the patient’s care.

And that creates a problem: the nearly constant din tends to desensitize hospital staff to the sounds, a phenomenon dubbed “alarm fatigue,” which can result in real emergencies being missed, researchers warn in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine.