Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing: burden of transient noncritical monitor alarms in a trauma resuscitation unit

ONPOINT Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We examined the types of patient monitor alarms encountered in the trauma resuscitation unit of a major level 1 trauma center. Over a 1-year period, 316688 alarms were recorded for 6701 trauma patients (47 alarms/patient). Alarms were more frequent among patients with a Glasgow Coma Scale of 8 or less. Only 2.4% of all alarms were classified as "patient crisis," with the rest in the presumably less critical categories "patient advisory," "patient warning," and "system warning." Nearly half of alarms were ≤5 seconds in duration. In this patient population, a 2-second delay would reduce alarms by 25%, and a delay of 5 seconds would reduce all alarms by 49%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-188
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of trauma nursing : the official journal of the Society of Trauma Nurses
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency
  • Critical Care
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing

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