The Problem of Alarm Fatigue



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Author Correction Volume 17, Issue 3, 180, Article first published online: 17 June 2013

Address correspondence to:


Up to 99 percent of alarms sounding on hospital units are false alarms signaling no real danger to patients. These false alarms can lead to alarm fatigue and alarm burden, and may divert health care providers’ attention away from significant alarms heralding actual or impending harm. As the health care environment continues to become more dependent upon technological monitoring devices used for patient care, nurses must become aware of the possibility and consequences of alarm fatigue and ways to prevent it from negatively affecting their practice, as well as the possible consequences for patient care.