Noise due to building characteristics

There is a difference between the noise exposure in an open ICU, where all rooms communicate with a central base station, and that in an ICU consisting of separate rooms. Nursing staff usually prefer an open ward because they can work together and there is always another nurse nearby to help in emergencies. However, the large number of technical devices operating in close proximity produces a terrible cacophony, which can barely be tolerated by conscious patients. Open wards may be suitable for heavily sedated patients requiring highly invasive instrumentation. Conscious patients are much more comfortable in separate rooms, each containing one or two patients.

The ceiling, floor, and furniture in the ICU should be designed such that reverberation and unnecessary noise are minimized. Acoustic insulation of scrub-up areas, sterilization, etc. should be optimized.

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