Quality Improvement Initiative to Reduce Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Noise Pollution With the Use of a Pediatric Delirium Bundle

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Objectives:Noise pollution in pediatric intensive care units (PICU) contributes to poor sleep and may increase risk of developing delirium. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends <45 decibels (dB) in hospital environments. The objectives are to assess the degree of PICU noise pollution, to develop a delirium bundle targeted at reducing noise, and to assess the effect of the bundle on nocturnal noise pollution.Methods:This is a QI initiative at an academic PICU. Thirty-five sound sensors were installed in patient bed spaces, hallways, and common areas. The pediatric delirium bundle was implemented in 8 pilot patients (40 patient ICU days) while 108 non-pilot patients received usual care over a 28-day period.Results:A total of 20,609 hourly dB readings were collected. Hourly minimum, average, and maximum dB of all occupied bed spaces demonstrated medians [interquartile range] of 48.0 [39.0-53.0], 52.8 [48.1-56.2] and 67.0 [63.5-70.5] dB, respectively. Bed spaces were louder during the day (10AM to 4PM) than at night (11PM to 5AM) (53.5 [49.0-56.8] vs. 51.3 [46.0-55.3] dB, P < 0.01). Pilot patient rooms were significantly quieter than non-pilot patient rooms at night (n=210, 45.3 [39.7-55.9]) vs. n=1841, 51.2 [46.9-54.8] dB, P < 0.01). The pilot rooms compliant with the bundle had the lowest hourly nighttime average dB (44.1 [38.5-55.5]).Conclusions:Substantial noise pollution exists in our PICU, and utilizing the pediatric delirium bundle led to a significant noise reduction that can be perceived as half the loudness with hourly nighttime average dB meeting the EPA standards when compliant with the bundle.

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