Frequency and reliability of alarms in the monitoring of cardiac postoperative patients

Erkki Koski (Corresponding Author), Aki Mäkivirta, Tommi Sukuvaara, Aarno Kari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Postoperative monitoring of cardiac operated patients requires appropriately functioning monitor alarms as well as intensive nursing activity. The limit alarms can be used for detection of life-threatening situations and monitoring of physiological changes in the patient's state. We studied the significance and the frequency of audible alarms during the postoperative intensive care of ten cardiac patients. Of 1307 occasions when such an alarm was activated during the study period of approximately 26 hours per patient, only 139 (10.6%) were significant. The highest proportion of significant audible limit alarms was found during the immediate postoperative period. Heart rate alarms were more reliable than alarms of the other parameters monitored in the study. Possibilities for improving the physiological monitoring and alarm system are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-133
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1990
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • alarms
  • equipment safety
  • critical care
  • monitoring
  • cardiac postoperative care


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