Hola a tod@s, my dear friends.
We keep on making noise to promote ICU silence.
Today we share an article recently published in Medicina Intensiva by the Group of Research in modeling of Environmental Systems of the Environmental Engineering and Health Program of the University of Magdalena (Santa Marta, Colombia).
The objective was to assess the noise level in adult, Pediatric and neonatal ICU of an university hospital with a non-interventionist and observational descriptive study and follow-up for 20 days. To do this, they used a type I sound level meter, filter frequency in A weighting and Fast mode. They recorded the maximum values, the 90th percentile as background noise, and the continuous noise level.
The mean hourly levels in the adult unit varied between 57.40±1.14 and 63.47±2.13dBA, with a maximum between 71.55±2.32 and 77.22±1.94dBA, and a background noise between 53.51±1.16 and 60.26±2.10dBA.
In the pediatric unit the mean hourly levels varied between 57.07±3.07 and 65.72±2.46dBA, with a maximum of 68.69±3.57–79.06±2.34dBA, and a background noise between 53.33±3.54 and 61.96±2.85dBA.
The neonatal unit in turn presented mean hourly values between 59.54±2.41–65.33±1.77dBA, with a maximum value between 67.20±2.13 and 77.65±3.74dBA, and a background noise between 55.02±2.03 and 58.70±1.95dBA.
They could find a significant difference between the hourly values and between the different units, with the time of day exhibiting a greater influence (lower noise by night). However, these values measured are far away from the WHO recommendations, as we have already said probably they are very difficult to get.
We hope this study can serve as an example and motivation for every ICU in order to design your own soundscape.
Congratulations to the authors!