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Massachusetts General Hospital death spurs review of patient monitors

Boston Globe, February 22, 2010

A Massachusetts General Hospital patient died last month after the alarm on a heart monitor was inadvertently left off, delaying the response of nurses and doctors to the patient's medical crisis, the Boston Globe reports. Hospital administrators said they immediately began an investigation, which led them to inspect and disable the off switch on alarms on all 1,100 of Mass. General's heart monitors within a day of the death. The hospital also has temporarily assigned a nurse in each unit to specifically listen for alarms, out of concern that sometimes even functioning alarms cannot be heard in a busy ward.