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Title: Patients' perception of sound levels in the surgical suite
Authors: Liu, E.H.C. 
Tan, S.-M.
Keywords: Noise pollution
Issue Date: Jun-2000
Citation: Liu, E.H.C., Tan, S.-M. (2000-06). Patients' perception of sound levels in the surgical suite. Journal of Clinical Anesthesia 12 (4) : 298-302. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Study Objectives: To measure sound levels that our patients are exposed to in the surgical suite and their perception of these sound levels. Design: Sound levels experienced by 100 patients undergoing general anesthesia for elective surgery during three phases: induction and maintenance of anesthesia in the operating room (OR), and recovery from anesthesia in the recovery room, were measured using a Type 4436 Noise Dose Meter. The equivalent continuous sound levels (Leq), maximum sound levels (Lmax), and the sources of sounds were noted. Patients were interviewed 24 hours after anesthesia about their perception of the sound levels they had experienced in the OR and recovery rooms. Measurements and Main Results: The Leq during the induction, maintenance, and recovery phases were 70.3 ± 16.8 dB(A), 66.2 ± 4.1 dB(A) and 71.8 ± 6.1 dB(A), respectively. These sound levels are much higher than international recommendations for hospital acute care areas and exceed the thresholds to produce noise-induced cardiovascular and endocrine effects. Sound levels were significantly higher during the induction and recovery phases compared to the maintenance phase. Thirty-two patients found the induction phase noisy and 33 patients found the recovery phase noisy. The sound levels distressed 16 patients and 52 patients would have preferred a quieter environment. There was no difference in the sound levels experienced by those who expressed dissatisfaction with the sound levels and those who did not. Much of the noise, particularly staff conversations, unnecessary alarms, and preparation of equipment, could have been prevented by simple measures. Conclusion: Noise prevention in the OR and recovery room needs more attention and should be a routine part of patient care. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.
Source Title: Journal of Clinical Anesthesia
ISSN: 09528180
DOI: 10.1016/S0952-8180(00)00155-0
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