Noise at the intermediary neonatal care unit of a university hospital in Ribeirão Preto-SP. / "Ruído na unidade de cuidado intermediário neonatal de um hospital universitário de Ribeirão Preto-SP"
Nelma Ellen Zamberlan
DATA DE PUBLICAÇÃO
This descriptive, exploratory and observational quantitative study aimed to determine ambient noise levels at the intermediary neonatal care unit of a university hospital in Ribeirão Preto-SP and dimension sound pressure levels (SPL) produced by air-conditioning, lamps at the nursing ward and the functioning of apnea monitors; alarms going off; open water taps; handling of garbage cans; conversations among professionals (medical visit and nursing shift change) and external noise (opening and closing the access door of the neonatal unit and conversation in the antechamber). Ambient noise was dimensioned at the minimal manipulation nursing ward in the intermediary neonatal care unit of the university hospital in Ribeirão Preto-SP for two consecutive weeks. In the first week, ambient noise levels were measured every day for 12 hours, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In the second, ambient noise was measured every night for 12 hours, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. A Quest-400 dosimeter was used to measure SPL, placed in the center of the ward and hung from the roof at 70 cm. To dimension each internal and external noise distinguished in the second objective, only the hospitalized babies and the researcher continued at the ward, avoiding the presence of other audible noise. Sound pressure levels were measured for three consecutive minutes, except during nursing shift changes, including three measurement moments, one at the end of each shift. For data analysis, QuestSuiteMR was used to process SPL in numerical answers and move them to Excel 2003 and SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) worksheets. The mean sound level at the unit was 60.8dBA. A variability of 20.8dBA (from 51.8 to 72.6dBA) was found for Leq, 23.6dBA (90.1 to 113.7dBA) for Lpeak, 42.8dBA (52.1 to 90.9dBA) for Lmax and 1.4dBA (50.7 to 52.1dBA) for Lmin. The results confirmed the hypotheses that noise is intense, even at a minimal manipulation ward, and that opening and closing the garbage can is the most intense noise source (mean Leq 59.3dBA). The open door of the nursing ward allowed more external noise from the antechamber to enter, especially noise produced by opening and closing the running door that gave access to the neonatal unit (57.3dBA). This confirmed the third hypothesis, that is, that environmental noise decreases when the door of the nursing ward is closed. The fourth hypothesis was also confirmed, i.e. that conversations between professionals during shift changes and medical visits were a source of intense noise. The highest Leq corresponded to 63.8dBA in both situations. Sound pressure levels were intense across all shifts and days of the data collection period, exceeding recommendations and technical standards for adequate noise levels at neonatal units. Based on these results and on literature, a protocol was elaborated to control the excess of ambient noise stimuli, including a set of intersectorial actions directed at physical infrastructure, technological and human resources (professionals and family members).
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