January 28, 2013
Slip and fall injuries are some of the most common types of accidents that occur in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. The frequency of such injuries prompted many hospitals to invest in alarm technology that would supposedly help prevent these accidents, but a new study published in a recent issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine points to the contrary.
The study examined results from 349 beds from 16 units in a hospital located in Memphis, Tennessee. Half the units were used as a control test group while the other half were outfitted with the alarms, as well as receiving interventions and specialized trainings to increase the understanding and use of fall alarms. While the study found the training and interventions led to a greater use of the alarms, there was no significant data to support the idea the alarms prevented Slip and Fall Accidents after other contributing factors were brought into the equation.
Researchers attributed this phenomenon to what they referred to as “alarm fatigue.” Essentially, nurses and staff heard the alarms so often, they became desensitized to the signal and often did not respond.
The Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyers with John Michael Bailey Injury Lawyers say medical staff failing to respond to an alarm that indicates a patient may be in trouble could be considered negligence and would encourage anyone who has been harmed under a physicians’ care to contact an attorney to discuss your legal rights.