David Henderson had a perceptive post the other day about California’s Proposition 65, which requires a warning label on any product that contains carcinogens, no matter how small the risk. David’s point: if every product contains a warning label, warnings become irrelevant.
A similar problem occurs in medicine, where doctors and other health professionals are developing “alarm fatigue,” causing them to become desensitized and immune to alarm sounds set off by medical devices used for monitoring and treating patients:
According to the commission, between 85 percent and 99 percent of alarm signals do not require clinical intervention. As a consequence, hospital workers may respond by turning the alarms off, reducing their volume or even changing their settings to a level deemed unsafe for patients. Thus, those suffering from alarm fatigue may potentially ignore real emergencies — a circumstance that could have very real implications for patients.
Source: Kaiser Health News.