[Clinical evaluation of alarm efficieny in intensive care]

Ann Fr Anesth Reanim. 2000 Jun;19(6):459-66. doi: 10.1016/s0750-7658(00)90220-x.
[Article in French]


Objective: To evaluate the efficiency of haemodynamic and respiratory monitoring system by a clinical analysis of the alarms.

Study design: Observational prospective study.

Patients: 25 patients who presented acute respiratory distress syndrome and who were monitored with haemodynamic and respiratory monitoring.

Methods: Each minute, a bedside clinical observer analysed alarms from the monitoring according to detection or absence to clinical events. Four situations were defined to statistical descriptive analysis: a) false positive (FP); b) true positive (TP); c) false negative (FN); and d) true negative (TN). True positive alarm which induced consequences on patients care were also analysed.

Results: 15,013 minutes allowed the recordings of 3,665 alarms, 44% from arterial pressure, 17% from SpO2 and 12% from airways maximal pressure. 46% were false positive alarms inducing a noisy pollution. The positive predictive value PPV = TP/(TP + FP) of these alarms were respectively 51% for arterial pressure, 18% for SpO2 and 100% for Paw. Only 5% of true positive alarms induced consequences on patients care.

Conclusion: This protocol allowed the evaluation of monitoring efficiency. This kind of evaluation may help to improve monitoring capacity with reducing noisy pollution from false positive alarms.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • English Abstract
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Critical Care*
  • False Negative Reactions
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Mechanics / physiology