Are All Those Hospital Alarms Really Necessary?05:53
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Physiologic alarms at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia can alert doctors and nurses to life threatening situations, but about 99 percent of them are either invalid or of low importance. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
Physiologic alarms at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia can alert doctors and nurses to life threatening situations, but about 99 percent of them are either invalid or of low importance. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
This article is more than 3 years old.

Medical devices monitoring patients send off alerts when something is not quite right. Heart rate is off - beep. Low pulse - beep beep. Ventilator seems to be malfunctioning - another alarm. IV medication bag almost empty - more beeps.

As urgent as these alarms sound - they usually don’t indicate a true emergency. Hospitals and researchers are trying to find ways to cut through the noise. Maiken Scott from The Pulse at Here & Now contributor WHYY in Philadelphia reports.

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This segment aired on October 20, 2015.

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