Monitoring sound and light continuously in an intensive care unit patient room: A pilot study

Louis P. Voigt, Kelly Reynolds, Maryam Mehryar, Wai Soon Chan, Natalie Kostelecky, Stephen M. Pastores, Neil A. Halpern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose To determine the feasibility of continuous recording of sound and light in the intensive care unit (ICU). Materials and methods Four 1-hour baseline scenarios in an empty ICU patient room by day and night (doors open or closed and maximal or minimal lighting) and two daytime scenarios simulating a stable and unstable patient (quiet or loud devices and staff) were conducted. Sound and light levels were continuously recorded using a commercially available multisensor monitor and transmitted via the hospital's network to a cloud-based data storage and management system. Results The empty ICU room was loud with similar mean sound levels of 45 to 46 dBA for the day and night simulations. Mean levels for maximal lighting during day and night ranged from 1306 to 1812 lux and mean levels for minimum lighting were 1 to 3 lux. The mean sound levels for the stable and unstable patient simulations were 61 and 81 dBA, respectively. The mean light levels were 349 lux for the stable patient and 1947 lux for the unstable patient. Conclusions Combined sound and light can be continuously and easily monitored in the ICU setting. Incorporating sound and light monitors in ICU rooms may promote an enhanced patient- and staff-centered healing environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-39
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Critical Care
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Cloud storage
  • Critical care
  • Intensive care unit
  • Light
  • Noise
  • Sound


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