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Noise Levels during nCPAP are Flow- but not Device-dependent
  1. Oliver Karam (karam{at}
  1. Geneva's University Hospital, Switzerland
    1. Cosima Donatiello (cosima.givry{at}
    1. Geneva's Univsersity Hospital, Switzerland
      1. Eric Van Lancker (iav{at}
      1. Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
        1. Vincent Chritin (iav{at}
        1. Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
          1. Riccardo E Pfister (riccardo.pfister{at}
          1. Geneva's University Hospital, Switzerland
            1. Peter C Rimensberger (peter.rimensberger{at}
            1. Geneva's University Hospital, Switzerland


              Objective: Nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (nCPAP) has been shown to improve the outcome of infants with respiratory distress syndrome. However, noise generation could be of concern. Therefore, our study was designed to measure the noise levels of various CPAP drivers.

              Design: For infants admitted in our NICU and PICU, we measured the noise level in the oral cavity, using a microphonic probe with a flexible capillary tube. Various CPAP drivers and interfaces have been tested.

              Results: Twenty-seven measurements were made in eight infants. Mean noise level was 88.6 ± 18.8 dB and was correlated to flow (p<0.01) but not to pressure. A noise level above 90 dB was detected in fifty-seven percent of the measurements.

              Conclusions: nCPAP are valuable devices for neonatal care that may prevent primary mechanical ventilation or reintubation, but generate a large amount of noise, often higher than occupational limits accepted for adult workers. Therefore, new devices must be designed to minimize this possible noxious exposure of premature infants to unacceptably high noise levels.

              • infant
              • nasal continuous positive airway pressure
              • noise

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