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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

March 26, 2012

FDA working to trim hospital ‘alarm fatigue’

Steps up review that beeping devices undergo before they hit market

The Food and Drug Administration is taking steps to reduce “alarm fatigue’’ in hospitals by intensifying its pre-market review of medical devices that sound alarms and could contribute to the desensitization of nurses - a problem that The Boston Globe reported last year was linked to hundreds of deaths.

The agency is providing additional training on alarm standards and alarm safety to its reviewers, who are responsible for scrutinizing 4,000 applications a year from manufacturers seeking permission to sell their medical devices, including heart and oxygen monitors.

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