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April 1969

Noise Characteristics in the Baby Compartment of Incubators: Their Analysis and Relationship to Environmental Sound Pressure Levels

Author Affiliations

From the divisions of anesthesiology (Dr. Seleny) and cardiology (Mr. Streczyn), Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, and the department of anesthesia and pediatrics, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.

Am J Dis Child. 1969;117(4):445-450. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1969.02100030447011

INCUBATORS NCUBATORS are common equipment in modern hospitals, and the controlled environment they provide is an advantage in the treatment of premature and sick neonates or infants. Almost 40% of our surgical patients fall into the above category, which necessitates a high utilization rate of incubators. We have become aware of a constant humming noise within these incubators produced by the electric motor and fan which heat and circulate the air within the hood. The noise is especially loud in the baby compartment, and its intensity appears influenced by other sound sources in the rooms. The primary objective of this study was to analyze the characteristics of the sound produced by an incubator and to determine the effect of the surroundings on this noise. The secondary objective was to establish a base for future research. The exposure to various sound pressures, especially in the low frequency band, ie, 63 cycles