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New device reminds "Shhhhh baby is sleeping"
Necessity might be the mother of invention, but it was an Indiana father who created a system that warns visitors to the unit that the sounds in the room have risen to a level stressful for the wee patients.
Because the babies should still be developing inside the womb where every day noises would be filtered and muffled, they aren't yet equipped to process noises louder than a normal conversation. The stress can cause their heart rates to race or slow down to dangerous level and disturb their rest. Anything that interferes with babies' vital signs or sleep can slow development and healing as their bodies do most of that work while they sleep.
The Sonicu system uses alarms that resemble traffic lights. If the noise level starts creeping up, a computer turns the green light to a yellow caution signal. If the noise exceeds the recommended level, the light changes to red and the overhead lights dim. It's not hard to understand why the hospitals with the Sonicu system like it, they no longer have the unpleasant task of having to ask excited (or just plain loud) visitors to keep their voices down.
Of course, there are many hospital sounds that can't be helped: the various beeps and blips of the monitors and machines and the terrifying alarms indicating a problem (something we were told we'd eventually become used to, but thankfully were discharged before that happened) but it still feels good to be able to do something helpful, even if that something is just shutting up.