Sound & Alarm Fatigue in the ICU

A review off the evidence

The lecture duration is 22min.

0.5 CPD Points, 0.5 CEUs, 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.
Accredited by CPDUK, CBRN and EB Medicine.

You can watch this lecture for free! For premium features, including a CPD/CME accredited certificate, to use time-coded note taking or get downloadable slides, you will need a fair price subscription.

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Dr Joe Schlesinger & Alexandra Bruder
Associate Professor & Research Associate, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Lecture Summary

Safety-critical industries require accurate task performance that is often multifaceted and reliant on time-sharing between concurrent tasks. Clinical tasks often involve multiple sensory modalities. Some of these tasks are auditory, such as spoken communication with a team and detecting auditory alarms, and some tasks contain additional visual components, such as ascertaining vital signs. The auditory domain is under considerable pressure in clinical work. Noise levels in the clinical realm have become a problem in clinical environments, where they have gradually risen over the last few decades. Noise, or competing and unwanted sounds, are a particular challenge in healthcare. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends nighttime noise levels in hospitals not exceed 30dB, yet the average nighttime level has been found to be much higher, typically at 60dB. The overall noise level in hospital settings (alarms and non-alarms), including the OR, can be detrimental to both patient recovery and clinician performance. Aside from their loudness, the nature of clinical audible alarms is undergoing considerable change since evidence has emerged that the tonal style of alarms, particularly those advocated in the medical device global safety standard, IEC 60601-1-8, are difficult to learn and recognize. In addition to auditory medical alarms, research in the domains of neuroscience, psychology, biomedical engineering, and human factors engineering is striving to develop optimal multisensory (auditory, visual, haptic) alarms to improve patient care and attenuate fatigue.

Target Audience

Critical Care Doctors
Experienced or advanced Critical Care Nurses

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this activity, you should be able to:

  • Interpret the difference between signal-to-noise ratio and auditory perception
  • Realize the different acoustic features carried in a sound signal
  • Understand the benefits of multisensory integration
  • Describe the auspices of device design and international standards

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of EB Medicine and Continulus. EB Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation

EB Medicine designates this internet-enduring material for a maximum of .5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Needs Assessment

The need for this educational activity was determined by surveys of the target audience and experts in the specialty. Further assessment was provided by examining the topics of recently published evidence-based medicine reviews, national clinical guidelines, and specialty society recommendations, as well as suggestions from evaluations of previous learning programs to determine practice gaps.

CME Faculty Disclosure

It is the policy of EB Medicine to ensure objectivity, balance, independence, transparency, and scientific rigor in all CME-sponsored educational activities. All faculty participating in the planning or implementation of a sponsored activity are expected to disclose to the audience any relevant financial relationships and to assist in resolving any conflict of interest that may arise from the relationship. In compliance with all ACCME accreditation requirements and policies, all faculty for this CME activity were asked to complete a full disclosure statement. The speaker did not report any relevant financial interest or other relationship with the manufacturer(s) of any commercial product(s) discussed in this educational presentation.

Earning Credit

In order to earn CME credit, the participant must take the pre-test, watch the course, take the CME post-test, and complete the post-test evaluation.

Hardware/Software Requirements

Online learners will need a computer or web-enabled device to access the podcast, additional learning materials, and CME test.

Commercial Support

This activity received no commercial support.