Frequency-Selective Silencing Device Beneficial for ICU Patients

Device removes alarm sounds while allowing patients to hear everything and communicate

hand of elderly patient

MONDAY, June 26, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A frequency-selective silencing device can allow intensive care unit patients to hear and communicate without experiencing the negative consequences of audible alarms, according to research presented at the International Conference of Auditory Display.

Noting that free-field auditory medical alarms have created hazards for patients and clinicians, with the harsh characteristics of the alarm noise profile creating discomfort for patients and contributing to psychological problems, Joseph J. Schlesinger, M.D., from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., and colleagues presented details on a frequency-selective silencing device that can remove the alarm sounds from the patient perspective.

The researchers note that using a Raspberry Pi and digital filters to remove the alarm sounds, which primarily serve to alert clinicians, the device transmits other sounds to the patient. This allows the patients to hear everything and effectively communicate without experiencing the negative consequences of audible alarms.

"This device has been demonstrated to successfully remove alarm sounds while avoiding audible distortion of speech and other environmental noise, and should it be widely implemented in hospital setting, it will prevent patients from hearing the disturbing and potentially harmful sounds of free-field medical alarms and may improve patient safety," the authors write.

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