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Sleep is vital for patient recovery, but common hospital noises may be disruptive, researchers say.

Apart from direct patient care, researchers have become aware of the importance of the environment when it comes to patient recovery in hospitals.

One critical component is a peaceful space for a patient to get enough sleep.

Unfortunately, many hospital patients’ sleep may be interrupted by certain noises in a common hospital setting, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Massachusetts General Hospital and Cambridge Health Alliance found in a study.

They warn that such sleep disruption can negatively affect brain activity and cardiovascular function.

Sleep is important for restoration and healing, they say, but many hospitals and urban sleep environments are increasingly noise-polluted.

Electronic noises the most disruptive

The study took place in a sleep lab with 12 healthy volunteers who participated for three nights, sleeping one night without interruption and the other nights being presented with recorded sounds that are commonly heard in hospital settings.

The sounds included an intravenous alarm, telephone, ice machine, voices in the hall, outside traffic and a helicopter, which were presented at increasing decibel levels during specific sleep stages.

Not surprisingly, louder noises were more likely to disrupt sleep, but electronic noises were most disturbing, even at low volumes.

Cardiovascular function was affected because even subtle sleep disruptions temporarily elevated heart rates, which could be worrying for vulnerable populations when occurring repeatedly during hospital stays, they warn.

The study is published online in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Source: Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Air cleaners for hospitals and healthcare settings

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A room air purifier with activated carbon and HEPA provides healthier air and soothing white noise.

A cleaner and healthier hospital environment can not only help patients breathe easier, it can also help them sleep better.

Running a room air purifier continuously on the lowest setting provides soothing white noise that drowns out other, potentially sleep-disrupting noises, while it also removes airborne viruses, bacteria, mold, chemicals, odors, gases, particles and dust.

Electrocorp has developed a selection of air cleaners for hospitals and healthcare settings that can remove the widest range of indoor air pollutants.

The air cleaners feature a multistage filtration system with a deep-bed activated carbon filter for chemicals, gases and odors, a HEPA filter for particles and dust and optional UV germicidal filtration for bacteria, viruses and mold.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

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