- January, 2016
Are we getting alarm fatigue from the facial nerve monitor?
To study the frequency of alerts from facial nerve monitors during otologic surgery.
Tertiary referral center
Surgical cases involving any type of ear surgery
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE
Each of 55 otologic cases was monitored in a standard manner with the NIM-3 facial nerve monitor and the alerts were recorded. After each case, the file was downloaded and the alert recordings were transferred to an Excel spreadsheet. The individual stimulation alerts were grouped into events and the frequency was analyzed.
Monitoring was performed for a total of 8107 minutes and there were an average of 18.4 stimulation events per case. This is an average of 6.9 stimulation events recorded every hour of surgery. No case had a facial nerve injury and most events were ‘false alarms’.
The facial nerve monitor might be causing alarm fatigue. The alarm sound frequently and most alerts are not associated with injury to the facial nerve. A comparison with other alarm systems indicates that the frequency of alerts is high enough with the NIM-3 that it may be a source of alarm fatigue. Other observations associated with monitoring were made as a result of the study.