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A critical clinical alarm is any audible or visual indication from a system or device, that when activated, may result in the injury or death of a patient unless immediate clinical intervention results.[1]

Alarm definitions

  • False alarm -- alarms due to artifact that produces false data or clinical circumstance. E.g. A nurse responds to a low Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) alarm but the patient doesn't require heart monitoring.
  • Nuisance alarm -- is a type of false alarm that causing inconvenience or annoyance to clinical personnel or the patient environment (i.e. patient, siblings, staff, biomed, etc)

True alarm -- alarms that represent true and accurate physiologic data or clinical circumstance. E.g. E.g. A nurse responds to a low Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) alarm to a patient requiring heart monitoring. Non-actionable alarm-- is a type of true alarm that do not require therapeutic intervention by clinical staff.

References

  1. Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. "Ensuring the Effectiveness of Clinical Alarm Systems." http://www.anthc.org/cs/dehe/envhlth/ieh/upload/Ensuring%20the%20Effectiveness%20of%20Clinical%20Alarm%20Systems.PDF. Accessdate: 2/26/2015.

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