Skip to comments.Hospital Noise Spoiling Patient's Sleep
Posted on 06/13/2012 3:36:36 AM PDT by JoeProBono
Anyone who has been sick can appreciate the joy of a good night's sleep, but in a large institution like a hospital, there are necessities of running the establishment that can disturb a patient's peace. All the more so with all manner of electronic equipment, cell phones, alarms, intercoms and such like, that produce sounds to wake the dead. However the association between noise disruption and sleep patterns had not been studied in great detail.
A report published in Annals of Internal Medicine goes some way to solving the issues with Orfeu Buxton, a neuroscientist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and his team looking into the problem in depth. As Buxton aptly puts it "It's nerve-wracking enough to be a hospitalized patient, and there's a lot of racket at night."
Patients agree: with one of their main complaints in a recent hospital survey being night time noise pollution but obviously there are practical considerations involved and as Jeremy Ackerman from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, a member of the international Healthcare Acoustics Research Team puts it :
"We don't necessarily just have to make (the hospital) quieter ... We need to be particularly careful to avoid designing into systems and into the architecture very disruptive sounds ... we have a general sense that loud sounds, interruptive sounds all create an environment that is likely to slow healing."
Research has shown that background noise in a hospital can spike up to 80dB about as loud as a chainsaw. Obviously that kind of racket would wake most people up, but to make changes a more detailed evaluation was needed. With this in mind, Buxton's team took 12 healthy subjects and played sounds while they slept. The recordings were mainly taken from hospitals and included things such as IV pump alarms, people talking, a plane flying overhead and a laundry cart rolling down the hall. Using Encephalographic studies of the patients, and by using established sleep criteria, the subjects were tested during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM stages 2 and 3.
In all they found that alarms and voices were the worst offenders, which makes sense, since alarms are designed to attract attention and the importance of what is being said tends to attract a person's attention more than the hum of an AC unit or a door closing. The brain can filter out those kinds of sounds as unimportant........
You don’t go to a hospital to get any sleep. You are there to get treatments or monitoring that you normally can’t get as an out patient.
You are right. You don’;t get any rest in the hospital, and it isn’t the noise so much as the Nurse coming to check BP, change IV bottles, and ding her’his other duties.
Can’t be helped.
I dunno, I didn’t mind so much the one and only time I was in the hospital when the very cute nurse came in to check on me.
Now when shift change occurred and broomhilda came on duty I was quite upset that I couldnt sleep.
Yep. You are a slab of meat getting treatments. (It is no hotel.) ;-)
being in a hospital is a horrible ordeal, all the racket, light, taking vitals in the middle of the night, not to mention the food
I dont have much experience with hospitals, I spent a couple weeks in the ICU at the Annapolis Naval Academy hospital and much later a couple weeks in Portsmouth Naval Hospital. Both were quiet at night.
I was just saying to my mom that there is a need for something in between the hospital and going home, where you can actually get some peace and quiet.
Ah! Hospital food!
When I was in the Annapolis hospital my meals (due to my injury) mostly consisted of an IV, Jell-O, broth and decaf coffee. The Navy Commander across from me often had steak dinners. He obviously enjoyed them and would smile and ask me how I enjoyed my green Jell-O.
When I was in the Portsmouth hospital I had regular but bland food. No salt and decaf coffee.
When I was in the hospital for four back surgeries, I was so ripped, I didn’t know what day it was. What really pissed me off was that the remote changed channels one way. If you miss your channel you have to go through 150 channels to get back there. Combine that with morphine and you have an unhappy camper.
Like a halfway house for the ill??
yeah, you know maybe you could even voluntarily check in to get taken care of and heal up
You had a TV that worked? ;-)
I always thought that the old joke about the hospital staff waking you up to give you sleeping pills was just that, a joke.
I found out different when I was in the hospital for a heart problem.
They actually woke me up to give me sleeping pills.
The night after my appendix was removed, the nurse woke me up to give me a pill to help me sleep. Duh!
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