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Kaeli Rizzo, Mackenzie Mallard, Kelvin Pierre, Kristen Riess, Cathryn Cohenour
A novel noise monitoring and alerting solution for neonatal intensive care units
The NICU:lert system consists of a central ambient noise monitoring sensor (NICU:lert transmitter) that communicates via a wireless connection to a badge tag (NICU:lert receiver) and initiates a vibration when a predetermined noise level has been exceeded. This device aims to help hospital staff maintain low noise levels in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) which have a recommended maximum noise threshold of 45dB. While this device was created for NICUs, there are various applications for this device.
Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) should not exceed 45 dB due to the negative physiological and behavioral changes seen in infants when exposed to high sound levels. However, studies have shown the average sound levels in NICUs can exceed that recommended level by up to 20dB. Many NICUs across the nation have had a difficult time maintaining a consistently quiet environment due to the open-bay design of their department. The purpose of this project is to find a way to notify NICU staff of high noise levels that will be well received and not contribute to alarm fatigue. We have created the NICU:Lert – the first sound monitoring system that that incorporates a noise monitoring device and a notification badge tag device which can discreetly alert staff of excessive noise through a vibration. So grab a NICU:lert at the beginning of your shift and do your part to do your part to help us protect the babies!