Manipal Journal of Nursing and Health Sciences


For continued existence and survival, preterm infants depend on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The NICU is a sophisticated and technology-driven environment, and preterm infants experience enormous stress in an NICU environment. Even though NICU is actually required by preterm infants for their continued existence, it may end up being an inappropriate milieu. The presence of overwhelming stimuli, most potent being the continuous presence of noise, may have various effects on preterm infants. Regardless of the recommendations by various committees, investigators have found that noise levels in the NICUs have exceeded the recommendations. The objective of this review was to find evidence regarding noise and its effects on hospitalized preterm infants. Studies reported provide evidence of the existence of noise in the NICU and its iatrogenic effects on preterm infants. But, the isolated nature of the studies limits generalizations. Most of the studies or reviews preclude any definite conclusions due to the relative uncertainty of data. Paucity of data on various iatrogenic effects of noise on preterm infants, suggests directions for further research establishing guidelines for best practices in NICU environment

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