The purpose of this study was to investigate the noise distribution and sources of peak noise inside an incubator with a nebulizer at a neonatal intensive care unit of a medical center in Southern Taiwan. Sound levels were monitored continuously with an electronic sound-meter for 24 hours daily over a one-week period. Three working hours (day, evening, and night hours) in the weekday and weekend (total 48 hours) were selected randomly from the one-week period of noise survey to observe peak noise at levels ≥ 65 dBA. Results revealed that 24.8% of the total monitoring period had sound levels at ≤ 59 dBA, 58.9% at 60-64 dBA, 10.7% at 65-69 dBA, and 5.6% at ≥ 70 dBA. Furthermore, a total of 947 peak noises ≥ 65 dBA were found within the 48 hours, of which 61.5% were in a range of 65-69 dBA, 24% of 70-74 dBA, 9.8% of 75-79 dBA, and 4.8% ≥ 80 dBA. Human-related sources, equaling 79%, were the dominant peak noises. These noises included opening and closing doors, banging the incubator hood, conversation among staff, nursing activity inside the incubator, tearing and opening paper or bags, opening and closing trash can lids, and bumping metal carts or other apparatus. Nonhuman-related sources were 21 % including alarms of monitors and running of the incubator motor. Results of this study showed that the noise distribution in the incubator with nebulizer was far above a protective limitation of 58 dBA, suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1974. However, most peak noises could be reduced by modification of staff behavior. Therefore, determinations of noise distribution and sources of peak noise in this study are useful for further noise reduction programs.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Nursing Research|
|Publication status||Published - 2001 Jun|
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