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Respiratory Care |

High Frequency Oscillatory Ventilation (HFOV) Generates Potentially Harmful Noise in a Medical Intensive Care Unit

Julio Novelo*, MD
Chest. 2012;142(4_MeetingAbstracts):949A. doi:10.1378/chest.1389028
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Abstract

SESSION TYPE: Respiratory Support Posters

PRESENTED ON: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM

PURPOSE: The use of HFOV may be associated with increase in the level of noise in the intensive care unit (ICU). While clinical outcomes from use of HFOV are still being investigated, the level of noise with this modality of mechanical ventilation has not being measured in the last two decades. We measured noise induced by a high frequency oscillatory ventilator and compared with conventional volume control mechanical ventilation.

METHODS: Sound measurements were recorded in an ICU room in 3 settings: 1) with an operating high frequency oscillatory ventilator, 2) with an operating conventional volume control ventilator and 3) in a control room without an active ventilator. A sound level meter was placed at 50 cm from the ventilator while other equipment in the room were silenced. Decibels were measured on two sensorMedics 3100B oscillatory ventilators and two Drager Evita 4 Neoflow ventilators. To register the level of sound we used a digital sound level meter EXTECH model 407730.

RESULTS: Sound levels ranged from 72 to 76 decibels in the room with an operating HFOV depending on the hertz and amplitude parameters. A conventional volume control ventilator produced 49 to 53 decibels depending on the inspiratory time, respiratory frequency and volume settings. In the control room without an active ventilator the sound level was read below 40 decibels.

CONCLUSIONS: HFOV generates a continuous loud potentially harmful noise in the ICU patient room.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: HFOV should be regarded as a risk factor for sleep disruption in the ICU and may contribute to noise induced hearing loss. Use of ear plugs may need to be considered.

DISCLOSURE: The following authors have nothing to disclose: Julio Novelo

No Product/Research Disclosure Information

, Temple, TX

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