Jornal de Pediatria
Print version ISSN 0021-7557
CARVALHO, Werther B.; PEDREIRA, Mavilde L. G. and AGUIAR, Maria Augusta L. de. Noise level in a pediatric intensive care unit. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2005, vol.81, n.6, pp. 495-498. ISSN 0021-7557. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572005000800015.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to verify the noise level at a PICU. METHODS: This prospective observational study was performed in a 10 bed PICU at a teaching hospital located in a densely populated district within the city of São Paulo, Brazil. Sound pressure levels (dBA) were measured 24 hours during a 6-day period. Noise recording equipment was placed in the PICU access corridor, nursing station, two open wards with three and five beds, and in isolation rooms. The resulting curves were analyzed. RESULTS: A basal noise level variation between 60 and 70 dBA was identified, with a maximum level of 120 dBA. The most significant noise levels were recorded during the day and were produced by the staff. CONCLUSION: The basal noise level identified exceeds International Noise Council recommendations. Education regarding the effects of noise on human hearing and its relation to stress is the essential basis for the development of a noise reduction program.
Keywords : Critical care unit; noise; hospital environment; pediatric nursing.