Fit monitoring devices on non-critical patients too

The Singapore General Hospital's reply ("SGH to implement new alert system for patient care"; July 29) indicates that the hospital is considering implementing part of my suggestion on a central system to monitor patients.

But it is limiting it to patients who are already hooked up to monitoring devices usually found in intensive care units or critical care areas, and not for patients in regular wards, which was what I had emphasised in my suggestion.

Two patients, whom my family and I witnessed being found unresponsive or dead by nurses or by the patients' kin, were from C-class wards and not hooked up to any monitoring device.

In the case I witnessed personally, the last check was done an hour and a half before the patient was found unresponsive by a nurse and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was administered.

There would be no point doing CPR if that patient's heart had, for example, stopped beating 30 minutes earlier.

My suggestion was for patients to be fitted with wireless heart monitoring wristbands, which will alert hospital staff the moment the patient's heart is in trouble.

I suggest that SGH or any hospital conduct a pilot trial on the wireless wristband suggestion, with the central system/computer set up for that ward only.

If the idea is feasible, then many more lives could be saved and the idea could be extended to other wards and hospitals.

P.V. George

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 06, 2015, with the headline 'Fit monitoring devices on non-critical patients too'. Print Edition | Subscribe