Urgent Medical Alert - To collect examples
When all medical attention in a hospital is directed instantly to a patient once he suffers a problem -


(permanent link) added: 2013-01-12 06:38:44 sponsor: SeptimusHeap (last reply: 2013-02-09 08:38:31)

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This is to collect examples for Urgent Medical Alert. Please do not claim "we have this already", we do not have enough examples for it.

Also, all things that aren't about adding new examples go here

It's a quiet afternoon at Fictional Hospital, with Bob the RN and Dr. Alice doing rounds. Suddenly a high-pitched, beeping alarm sounds. Alice and Bob instantly drop everything and sprint into one of the rooms -- thank God they were in time! They caught a patient just as he was going into cardiac arrest. After Dr. Alice stabilizes the victim, she quietly says to Bob that mere seconds could have meant the difference between the man's life and death.

Fiction shows us the world, not as it is, but as we want it to be. Such is the case when in a medical setting the silence around a patient's bed is broken by the shrill shock of a monitor alarm, causing all the medical providers in the area to immediately direct their attention to the problem which caused the alarm, which is invariably real and serious.

Expect to see tense doctors and nurses making tough decisions. If the doctor pauses for a second, a nurse will remind them that they have to make a decision quickly. This is usually followed by the Magical Defibrillator. The scene will end with a pulse returning, in which case everyone present will be greatly relieved. Or the patient dies after many attempts.

Sadly, this is a clear failure. Bedside alarms are so pervasive in the hospital that the people working there learn to largely ignore them. "False positives" in the form of loose leads, sensing devices removed, tubing kinked, or insignificant perturbations of vital signs are far more common than acute emergencies. Nurses pay attention to the alarms of their own patients, but it's their job to determine whether a real problem exists, so the whole floor need not come running at the sound of every beep.

Sometimes the patient himself, rather than being unconscious or dying, will call the nurse to report that an alarm is going off. Usually this is because it has woken them up, has been going long enough to get really annoying, or is making it hard to hear the TV.
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