A recent study “Noise exposure in a neonatogical care unit and in incubators” demonstrated a far from ideal environment for neonates inside incubators.
The noise exposure of premature infants in incubators is determined by the noise situation in the neonatal care unit. And on the other hand the acoustical properties of the incubator, which should shield the premature infant against an excess of noise besides the primary life-saving functions. The noise inside a neonatal care unit is caused by a lot of supplying and controlling devices. Most are provided with loud alarm functions, but also by the nursing staff and visitors.
The high production of noise is promoted by the normally high density of the incubators in the unit. The noise exposure in the unit and the acoustical properties of the incubators are investigated with the result, that the LAeq of the quietest hour within 24 hours was 49 dB(A) still.
This and other results are showing, that necessary steps should be taken to protect the neonates from unnecessary noise exposure.
he report can be ordered here