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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Oct. 31, 2011 | G Cover

Hospital noise hinders recovery

Loud patient rooms and floors can impact restful recuperations

For patients recovering from an illness or surgery, doctors first and foremost prescribe rest. But in many hospitals, noise from alarms on patient monitors, other equipment, and conversations is so loud that patients can’t sleep and end up heading home exhausted.

It’s been known for years that hospitals can be loud at night, but evidence is growing that noise on patient floors routinely exceeds the World Health Organization’s recommended maximum of 40 decibels for hospital rooms.

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