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Determinants of noise level in the neonatal intensive care unit at Castle Street Hospital for Women, Colombo, a level III tertiary care facility

Authors:

Chamara Jayamanne ,

Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo, LK
About Chamara
Senior Registrar in Paediatrics
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Saman Kumara

Castle Street Hospital for Women, Colombo, LK
About Saman
Consultant Neonatologist
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Abstract

Introduction: Advances in modern neonatology have improved survival of extremely premature and extremely low birth weight babies. Increased noise level is proven to be harmful to preterm babies and term ill babies in various ways. Determinants and baseline noise level should be assessed before necessary intervention.

 

Objective: To assess the determinants of noise level at a level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Castle Street Hospital for Women (CSHW), Sri Lanka. 


Method: A prospective observational study was done at NICU, CSHW, Sri Lanka. Data were collected using two NDI USB Digital sound level data loggers recorded noise level on a weighted decibel scale (dBA) every minute continuously for three weeks. Data was exported using provided software. Average noise level was analysed separately for consultant ward round (9am-12pm), nursing handing-over time (Daily 7-7.30am, 1-1.30pm and 7-7.30pm), admissions/emergencies (time taken from records) and a period supposed to be silence (Daily 1am-3am). Recommended standard ambient noise level for NICU by the American Academy of Paediatrics as well as Australasian Health Infrastructure Alliance is less than 45dB.

 

Results: Average noise level recorded in NICU was 60 dBA which is considerably higher than recommended levels. During the consultant ward round the average noise level was 60.2 dBA. Noise levels at the morning, afternoon and evening handing-over times were 62.9, 62.7 and 60.9 dBA respectively. Noise level at supposed silent period (Daily 1am-3am) was 56.8 dBA. During admissions or emergencies which required ventilation (CPAP/conventional), the average noise level was as high as 65.8 dBA.

 

Conclusions: Noise levels recorded in the NICU at the CSHW, Sri Lanka in all circumstances were higher than the recommended noise levels. Main contributions were machine alarms and conversations.

 

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 2019; 48(4): 312-315

How to Cite: Jayamanne, C. and Kumara, S., 2019. Determinants of noise level in the neonatal intensive care unit at Castle Street Hospital for Women, Colombo, a level III tertiary care facility. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 48(4), pp.312–315. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljch.v48i4.8824
Published on 05 Dec 2019.
Peer Reviewed

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