A day in the life of a premature baby

There was once a very typical busy day at the neonatal ICU of the Minneapolis Children’s Hospital in Minnesota, however, in the middle of the shift, the staff tried to keep the unit as noiseless as much as possible for their newborns hostile to survive. At the heart of the room, there is a baby who will spend some time in the hospital. She was born 3 months earlier and that she is not as big as the hands of the nurses. She is really doing great though, according to Dr. Stenzel. There was a clear plastic tube that pumps the air straight into the delicate lungs of the baby and the plastic tube is inserted into her mouth. The ventilator is on a test run and it is quiet compared to the typical ventilators being used in the hospital.

The noise issue coming from the ventilator

Even if the ventilator is noiseless to the room of the adults, the infant is still in the incubator, the ventilator tube may be relaying an amount of noise into the body of the baby.  Typical than it seems, no one would ever care about the sound of the tube into the lungs of the baby? That will not affect their hearing or their sense of hearing. However, the truth is that, it does, since it is being taken to the gum line of the baby to the bones of the skull through the inner ear according to Dr. Sidman, he is an ENT in the same hospital. He knows for a fact that the so called bone conduction might occur in any of the premature babies with a ventilator. This is because of his job with the hearing impaired patients. Some of the hearing aids he gave to the patients intensify the skull or the vibrations of the tooth to aid the patients to hear better.

But, to this day, no one can really say if the same sound path may be exposed to the newborn babies to a lot of ventilator noise. With this, Dr. Sidman, the author of the ventilator sound research, has decided to do some measurement about the levels of the 5 various ventilators to the point where the tube is placed on the head of the baby. This is where the tubes will transfer the vibrations to the skull.  Dr. Sidman got his data back; he was just amazed to discover that the ventilator tubes make sound pressure levels ranging from 60-115 decibels in the place where they make contact with the bones of the face. The 115 decibels are the guy working under the airplane directing the airplane going to the airport, he added. This is what your babies are living with as long as they are on a ventilator that may be weeks or even months.  There are more researches done by Dr. Sidman, but he still needs to prove them all.