Study of noise levels in a neonatal intensive care unit

Authors

  • Chantal Laroche Audiol. Speech-Lang. Pathol. Prog., University of Ottawa, Stn. A, 545 King Edward, P.O. Box 450, Ottawa, Ont. K1N 6N5, Canada
  • Paula Fournier Audiol. Speech-Lang. Pathol. Prog., University of Ottawa, Stn. A, 545 King Edward, P.O. Box 450, Ottawa, Ont. K1N 6N5, Canada

Keywords:

Acoustic intensity measurement, Acoustic variables control, Intensive care units, Nursing, Personnel training, Neonatal intensive care units (NICU), Noise levels

Abstract

The integrated care approach has been a focal point of interest for the past few years. In this approach, noise is viewed as a compromising element in the normal development of newborns in neonatal intensive care units. The objective of this study was to develop a methodology that could evaluate the impact of a training program designed for nurses regarding existing noise levels within a neonatal intensive unit. This method entails measurements of noise levels and their sources. The method's development was based on a continuous evaluation of noise levels in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), using a computer (type 1 sound-level metre) before the nurses' training. In order to evaluate the impact of the nurses' training, noise level measurements obtained before training at described locations are to be repeated after training. LAeq, 1 sec, as well as audio samples were recorded throughout 8 work shifts. The project was conducted in an Ottawa regional hospital that specializes in the treatment of sick children. The average pre-training noise levels were 53 dBA, 61 dBA and 65 dBA, for the night, day, and evening shifts respectively. These levels largely exceed the maximum sound level of 40 dBA recommended by the World Health Organization to avoid negative effects on sleep in hospitals. On the basis of this study, the training of nurses likely contributes to the reduction of noise levels in NICUs, but interventions concerning noise control are also necessary in order to ensure an acceptable sound environment for neonates requiring intensive care. (Project supported by the University of Ottawa).

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Published

1999-03-01

How to Cite

1.
Laroche C, Fournier P. Study of noise levels in a neonatal intensive care unit. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 1999 Mar. 1 [cited 2021 Jul. 26];27(1):11-9. Available from: https://jcaa.caa-aca.ca/index.php/jcaa/article/view/1185

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Section

Technical Articles

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