Humanity, ICU

Noise Pollution in the ICU

Hola a tod@s, my dear friends.

Who and what generates noise in the ICU? Mainly people.Today, we talk about this interesting subject thanks to the article Noise pollution in the ICU: time to look into the mirror published in Critical Care in August 2014 and yesterday shared by our friend Carles Calaf in his social networks.Noise can have harmful effects on our patients, already vulnerable.

The study shows that more than half of all the acoustic energy in an ICU is due to the expression and human activities, and is potentially modifiable.

Strategies involving the adaptation of human behavior which can be very effective to reduce noise pollution in the ICU.


The contribution of each noise category for (A) the acoustic energy and 
(B) the number of predicted loudness peaks. Noise generated by or involving patients is excluded.

Immediately comes to my mind, is the first time my father was operated in a long history of cancer that began in 1996.


I remember that I was starting Medicine studies and I knew absolutely nothing. I went to the hospital to visit him the day after his first night at ICU, and I asked him: “How was the night, daddy? Have you got pain?” He replied me, staring with his deep blue eyes: “The pain is bearable, they gave me painkillers. What I could not fight was a rude conversation about football that two workers had at 2 AM. Sincerely I can´t understand: one is here died of fear, not knowing if I will live or die, and it seems that it doesn´t matter to the people. This is incredible.”

As on other occasions, I insist: the most important thing is to be aware of things. If we make them aware, we will be able to modify them.

We can lower the voice. We can customize alarms.
By Gabi Heras, ICU Physician
*Re-posted with permission from: http://www.humanizingintensivecare.com/2014/12/noise-pollution-in-icu.html