Individuals in need of medical assistance rely on doctors and nurses to provide care. Since a medical professional can't be inside a hospital room at all times, monitors are equipped with alarms that signal abnormalities. Responding to these alarms is an essential part of any medical professional's daily duties.

Unfortunately, many alarms are not answered in a timely fashion. Failure to respond to an alarm could leave a patient with more damage than he or she arrived at the hospital with. Medical negligence lawsuits can be filed when alarms are not responded to in time to provide proper care.

Alarm Fatigue

One of the primary reasons medical professionals fail to respond to alarms is a phenomenon known as alarm fatigue. During the course of a normal day, a nurse or doctor might hear hundreds of alarms sounding in patient rooms.

Alarm fatigue occurs when the sound of these alarms begins to blur together. A medical provider suffering from alarm fatigue could fail to respond to an alarm, or delay his or her response. A failure to take action in response to an alarm could lead to serious illness or even death. 

Prevalence of Injury

Failure to respond to alarms happens more often than it should in medical settings. Statistics show that alarm fatigue and monitor misuse are directly responsible for over 500 deaths between 2005 and 2010. 

The prevalence of injuries and deaths related to alarm fatigue have resulted in the FDA implementing new safety guidelines to help combat alarm fatigue. Despite the efforts to eliminate alarm fatigue, the possibility of you or a loved one being negatively affected by alarm fatigue still exists.

Legal Recourse

If you or a loved one have suffered injuries because a nurse or doctor did not respond to an alarm, you can file a medical negligence lawsuit. An experienced medical negligence attorney will be able to help you prove that your case meets the criteria for medical negligence.

Medical professional have a duty to provide adequate care. Failing to respond to the alarms produced by monitoring equipment when abnormalities in body function are detected is a direct breach of that duty.

If your attorney can establish a direct connection between a medical professional's failure to respond to the alarm produced by your monitoring devices and any additional injuries that you sustained, you could qualify for financial compensation to help cover your medical costs and emotional trauma.