Patients and staff in intensive care units are exposed to high noise levels

In intensive care units, the main noise sources are hospital staff on duty and medical equipment, which generates both operating noise and acoustic alarms. Results of a survey of hospital staff are presented, as well as measurements in two German hospital wards: a standard two-bed room and a special intermediate care unit (IMC-Unit), each in a different intensive care unit (ICU). An analysis of the survey and the measured data, together with a comparison of thresholds of national and international regulations and standards describe the acoustic situation and its likely noise effects on staff and patients.

Source : Noise in an intensive care unit. Salandin, A. Arnold, J., Kornadt, O. Acoust. Soc. Am. Volume 130, Issue 6, pp. 3754-3760 (2011); (7 pages)

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