Hospitals are noisier than ever. Worldwide, sound levels inside hospitals average 72 decibels during the day and 60 decibels at night, which far exceeds the standard of 40 decibels or less, set by the World Health Organization.
Studies find that the clamor of modern medicine can harm both patients and staff. Unwanted sound wrecks sleep, raises stress levels, induces medical mistakes, and contributes to alarm fatigue, which occurs when monitors shriek so often they are ignored or turned off, causing safety issues.
In response, hospitals throughout Illinois and the U.S. are launching "quiet campaigns" that include eliminating intercom paging, replacing metal trash cans, installing sound-absorbing flooring and paneling, and dimming lights at night to remind staff to keep their voices down.
Source: Chicago Tribune