Enhanced Notification of Critical Ventilator Events

From Clinfowiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Since early studies of mechanical ventilators in 1960s and 1970s it was established that all ventilators have to have alarms to help hospital personal react to problems with ventilators as soon as possible. Since then, ventilators were developed that sounded an alarm every time something was wrong with the ventilator (disconnection, water in a tube, or other less critical problems). Besides a lot of false positive events ventilators produced, the sound of an alarm could easily go unnoticed in the busy routine of Intensive Care Unit. Ventilator alarms that go unnoticed for extended periods of time often result in permanent patient harm or death. Scott Evans et al have developed a system that monitors those alarms and transmits only critical ones to the appropriate personnel of the facility.

New enhanced alert system consisted of both visual and auditory signal that was very different from all the other sounds in ICU, so it was difficult to ignore. The enhanced alerts improve patient safety by alerting all medical staff in the ICU of all critical ventilator events in a timely manner. The duration of the ventilator events since the enhanced system was installed has been reduced to a level where patient harm does not occur. To date the paper was published, researches have not received any verified reports of false-positive enhanced alerts. This is due to the fact that the alert system was developed to distinguish the difference between the severity and different types of alarms generated by the ventilator. The lack of false-positive enhanced alerts has definitely been a key factor leading to the high clinician acceptance.

This paper describes in detail the development and implementation of the system. It also reports the initial results of the system and acceptance of the system by physicians and nurses.

Nick Nepochatov