Quieter intensive care units may translate to better outcomes for infants in new study
Excessive noise is widely known to have negative effects on health, and children in neonatal intensive care units are among the most vulnerable. To help preterm infants make a smooth transition to life outside of the womb, some NICUs have instituted set quiet times to limit children's exposure to potentially dangerous levels of noise. Researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, George Washington University and Baptist Health South Florida conducted one of the first studies linking the quiet time soundscape inside NICUs with infant health. The study examined the effects of quiet time implementation in multiple NICUs on infants up to 18 months after implementation, giving the group a sense of which features of quiet time policies have the largest impact on the youngest patients in the hospital.