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Noise in an intensive care unit

  • Patients and staff in hospitals are exposed to a complex sound environment with rather 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. Although noise in most cases is produced during activities for the purpose of saving life, noise can induce significant changes in the depth and quality of sleep and negatively affect health in general. 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). Sound pressure data were collected over a 48 hour period and converted into different levels (LAFeq, LAFmax, LAFmin, LAF 5%), as well as a rating level LAr, which is used to take tonality and impulsiveness into account. 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.

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Document Type:Article
Author: Andrea SalandinORCiD, Jörg Arnold, Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Oliver KornadtGND
DOI (Cite-Link):https://doi.org/10.25643/bauhaus-universitaet.3264Cite-Link
URN (Cite-Link):https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:gbv:wim2-20170713-32649Cite-Link
Parent Title (English):The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Date of Publication (online):2017/07/12
Year of first Publication:2011
Release Date:2017/07/13
Publishing Institution:Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
Institutes:Fakultät Bauingenieurwesen / Professur Bauphysik
Issue:130 (6)
First Page:3754
Last Page:3760
Tag:Intensivstation; Lärm
acoustical measurement; intensive care unit; noise
GND Keyword:Lärm; Messung; Akustik; Intensivstation; Arbeitsplatz
Dewey Decimal Classification:500 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 530 Physik / 534 Schall und verwandte Schwingungen
600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit / 613 Persönliche Gesundheit und Sicherheit
BKL-Classification:33 Physik / 33.12 Akustik
50 Technik allgemein / 50.36 Technische Akustik
56 Bauwesen / 56.55 Bauphysik, Bautenschutz
58 Chemische Technik, Umwelttechnik, verschiedene Techno- / 58.56 Lärmschutz, Erschütterungsdämpfung
Licence (German):License Logo Zweitveröffentlichung
Copyright 2011 Acoustical Society of America. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the Acoustical Society of America.

The following article appeared in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 130, 3754 (2011) and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3655884.