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JAMA 100 Years Ago
July 6, 2005


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2005;294(1):112. doi:10.1001/jama.294.1.112-a

The effect of noise on those who are ill has long been recognized. Of course, from “noise” we exclude those rhythmical sounds that we call music, which are decidedly restful to most persons when tired. It is the unmusical sound that wearies. Tan bark is spread over city pavements in front of the dwellings of the critically ill, and patients are placed in quiet rooms. Hospitals are not always erected in quiet neighborhoods as they should be, but usually there is apparent some effort to protect the inmates from noises. When life hangs by a thread, absolute silence in and about the sick room often is enjoined. In fact, physicians have generally and consistently endeavored to diminish noises in the environment of the ill. Occasionally a voice is raised in protest against the multitudinous and seemingly unnecessary and steadily increasing noises that assail the ears of city dwellers. At such times the proposition has been laid down that excessive constant noises are inimical to the best state of health, and there is some demand for the protection of those who are not ill from the detrimental clatter of urban life.

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