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Spectral analysis of noise in the neonatal intensive care unit

Livera, MD and Priya, B and Ramesh, A and Rao, PN Suman and Srilakshmi, V and Nagapoornima, M and Ramakrishnan, AG and Dominic, M and Swarnarekha, * (2008) Spectral analysis of noise in the neonatal intensive care unit. In: Indian Journal of Pediatrics, 75 (3). pp. 217-222.

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Objective To perform spectral analysis of noise generated by equipments and activities in a level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and measure the real time sequential hourly noise levels over a 15 day period. Methods Noise generated in the NICU by individual equipments and activities were recorded with a digital spectral sound analyzer to perform spectral analysis over 0.5–8 KHz. Sequential hourly noise level measurements in all the rooms of the NICU were done for 15 days using a digital sound pressure level meter. Independent sample t test and one way ANOVA were used to examine the statistical significance of the results. The study has a 90% power to detect at least 4 dB differences from the recommended maximum of 50 dB with 95 % confidence. Results The mean noise levels in the ventilator room and stable room were 19.99 dB (A) sound pressure level (SPL) and 11.81 dB (A) SPL higher than the maximum recommended of 50 dB (A) respectively (p < 0.001). The equipments generated 19.11 dB SPL higher than the recommended norms in 1–8 KHz spectrum. The activities generated 21.49 dB SPL higher than the recommended norms in 1–8 KHz spectrum (p< 0.001). The ventilator and nebulisers produced excess noise of 8.5 dB SPL at the 0.5 KHz spectrum.Conclusion Noise level in the NICU is unacceptably high. Spectral analysis of equipment and activity noise have shown noise predominantly in the 1–8 KHz spectrum. These levels warrant immediate implementation of noise reduction protocols as a standard of care in the NICU.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Indian Journal of Pediatrics
Publisher: Springer
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Springer.
Department/Centre: Division of Electrical Sciences > Electrical Engineering
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2010 05:53
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 05:58
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/26712

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