Background: Advances in neonatal care have resulted in improved survival of neonates admitted to the intensive care of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). However, the NCU may be an inappropriate milieu, with presence of overwhelming stimuli, most potent being the continuous presence of noise in the ambience of the NICU. Aim and Objectives: To determine and describe the ambient noise levels in the acute NICU of a tertiary referral hospital. Material and Methods: The ambient noise, in this study was the background sound existing in the environment of the acute NICU of a tertiary referral hospital in South India. The ambient noise levels were analyzed by an audiologist and acoustical engineer using a standardized and calibrated Sound Level Meter (SLM) i.e., the Hand Held Analyzer type 2250, Brüel and Kjær, Denmark on a weighted frequency A and reported as dB (A). Results: The ambient noise levels were timed measurements yielded by the SLM in terms of LAeq, L10 as well as LAeqmax exceeded the standard levels (Leq< 45 dB, L10 ≤ 50 dB, and Lmax ≤ 65 dB).The LAeq ranged from 59.4 to 62.12 dB A. Ventilators with alarms caused the maximum amount of ambient noise yielding a LAF Sound Pressure Level (SPL) of 82.14 dB A. Conclusion: The study has found high levels of ambient noise in the acute NICU. Though there are several measures to reduce the ambient noise levels in the NICU, it is essential to raise awareness among health care personnel regarding the observed ambient noise levels and its effects on neonates admitted to the NICU.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-58
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences University
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01-10-2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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