GOOD

Are Hospitals So Noisy that They're Killing People?

New evidence has found that all the sounds hospital machines make may be causing doctors and nurses to make mistakes.



Sitting in a hospital waiting room, you'll hear a variety of buzzes, beeps, and bloops. But all those sounds don't just fade into the background for hospital workers. The sounds create confusion that affects how health-care workers do their jobs. A Boston Globe article discussed this syndrome:

They call it “alarm fatigue.’’ Monitors help save lives, by alerting doctors and nurses that a patient is — or soon could be — in trouble. But with the use of monitors rising, their beeps can become so relentless, and false alarms so numerous, that nurses become desensitized — sometimes leaving patients to die without anyone rushing to their bedside. On a 15-bed unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, staff documented an average of 942 alarms per day — about 1 critical alarm every 90 seconds.


\n

Eventually the total amount of technology being infused into hospitals creates an over-stimulating environment that can cause health-care workers to miss critical moments.

At Tobey Hospital in Wareham, nurses failed to heed a different type of warning on a September morning in 2008. An elderly man’s electrocardiogram displayed a “flat line’’ for more than two hours because the battery in his heart monitor had died. While nurses checked on him, no one changed the battery. The man suffered a heart attack and was found unresponsive and without a pulse.

\n

In cases where nurses are not able to respond, postmortem interviews reveal that nurses could not even recall that the alarms went off. At Massachusetts General Hospital the easy solution has been to hire employees whose sole job is to monitor alarms in order to get to patients quickly. As technology has a larger role to play in how we are treated, is there a step missing that can reduce the amount of information health-care workers are exposed to?

Photo (flickr), Creative Commons 2.0, by boliston.

Articles
via Jim Browing / YouTube

Jim Browning is a YouTuber from the UK who has an amazing ability to catch scammers in the act.

In this video, he responds to a scam email claiming he bought a laptop by breaking into the scammer's computer. In the process he uncovers where the scammers work, their banking information, and even their personal identities.

"I got an 'invoice' email telling me that I had paid for a $3800 laptop," Browning writes on his YouTube page. "No links... just a phone number. It's a real shame that these scammers emailed me because I was able to find out exactly who they were and where the were."

Keep Reading
Business
HG B / YouTube

Danielle Reno of Missouri left her car running and it was stolen by thieves. But she wasn't going to let her car go so easily.

For 48 hours this owner of a pet rescue tracked the charges being made on her credit card. Ultimately, she found her car at a local Applebee's, and then went after the thieves.

Keep Reading
Communities
via Bossip / Twitter

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders took aim at former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg onstage at Wednesday's Las Vegas Democratic debate, likening the billionaire businessman to President Donald Trump and questioning his ability to turn out voters.

Sanders began by calling out Bloomberg for his stewardship of New York's stop and frisk policy that targeted young black men.

Keep Reading
Politics