Prospective cohort study on noise levels in a pediatric cardiac intensive care unit

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Purpose:To describe noise levels in a pediatric cardiac intensive care unit, and to determine the relationship between sound levels and patient sedation requirements.Materials and Methods:Prospective observational study at a pediatric cardiac intensive care unit (PCICU). Sound levels were measured continuously in slow A weighted decibels dB(A) with a sound level meter SoundEarPro® during a 4-week period. Sedation requirement was assessed using the number of intermittent (PRNs) doses given per hour. Analysis was conducted with autoregressive moving average models and the Granger test for causality.Results:39 children were included in the study. The average (SD) sound level in the open area was 59.4 (2.5) dB(A) with a statistically significant but clinically unimportant difference between day/night hours (60.1 vs. 58.6; p-value < 0.001). There was no significant difference between sound levels in the open area/single room (59.4 vs. 60.8, p-value = 0.108). Peak noise levels were > 90 dB. There was a significant association between average (p-value = 0.030) and peak sound levels (p-value = 0.006), and number of sedation PRNs.Conclusion:Sound levels were above the recommended values with no differences between day/night or open area/single room. High sound levels were significantly associated with sedation requirements.

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