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Fall 2013, page 3

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The 21st International Congress on Acoustics

By Jeanine Botta

Earlier this summer, I attended the 21st International Congress on Acoustics, which was held from June 2 through 7 in Montreal. Hosted by the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) and the Canadian Acoustical Association (CAA) under the auspices of the International Commission for Acoustics (ICA), the program included early morning plenary lectures, presentations of technical papers, poster sessions, an exposition featuring acoustical products and services, technical meetings, activities for students, and social gatherings. ICA reported 2,300 registered attendees including students and professionals, and more than 1,600 technical papers were presented.

I presented a research paper in a poster session that introduced technical and statistical information about remote keyless entry alert sounds in the US and Canada. Using available industry data over a seven-year span, my presentation featured three case studies of people who addressed the noise that affected their lives. I attended around thirty technical presentations and poster sessions, networking events, a technical meeting, and the vendor exposition.

A broad range of disciplines were reflected in the technical programs, some of which included acoustical oceanography, animal bioacoustics, architectural, biomedical, engineering, musical, physical, psychological, and physiological acoustics, signal processing, speech communication, structural acoustics and vibration, underwater acoustics, and noise.

I attended as many sessions as I could. A session might include four to eight presentations, and each presentation lasts twenty minutes, with the last five minutes saved for questions and answers. It is helpful to attend sessions across a broad range to become more familiar with the

field of acoustics generally. However, I wanted to attend every session on vehicle noise, particularly those focusing on warning signals for electric and hybrid vehicles, and backup beeping. The papers I enjoyed most were What will be the influence of e-mobility on soundscape? and Detectability and annoyance of warning sounds for electric vehicles. I also enjoyed the papers Comparison of discomfort caused by two kinds of backup beeping, Noise in hospitals as a strain for the medical staff, Noise stress for patients in hospitals, Characterizing the soundscape of tranquil urban spaces, and If a tree falls in a forest, can you hear it? as well as papers from the session “Urban Noise and Modeling”, including The internet and sound observatories, and Urban traffic noise assessment by combining measurement and model results. Other presentations related to noise included case studies of acoustical challenges and solutions.

All of the papers above can be found online and downloaded in PDF format. The meeting proceedings have been published as Volume 19 of POMA (Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics), and can be accessed from this website

Papers on noise can be found here. All web pages have a search function.

The 22nd International Congress on Acoustics is scheduled to take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from September 5 through 9 in 2016, and will be hosted by the Ibero-American Federation of Acoustic (FIA), the Argentinean Association of Acoustics (AdAA) in cooperation with the Chilean Acoustics Society (SOCHA) under the auspices of the ICA. Details are available online here
ASA and CAA have future meeting schedules posted on their respective web sites, The Acoustical Society and the CAA

Noise stress for patients in hospitals - a literature survey

POMA Volume 19, pp. 040130 (June 2013); (7 pages)
POMA - ICA 2013 Montreal, Canada

Gert Notbohm1 and Silvester Siegmann2
1 University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, NRW 40225 Germany
2 Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Institute for occupational and social medicine, Universitaetsstr. 1, Düsseldorf, NRW 40225 Germany

The growing number of publications on noise in hospitals reflects not only a rising interest in this theme during the last decades, but also an increasing noise exposure of the patients: the average sound-pressure level (SPL) reported in literature between 1960 and 2005 has risen from 57 to 72 dBA in daytime and from 42 to 60 dBA at night. The hospitals in question differ substantially with regard to type of construction, technical equipment, and organizational issues. But especially for intensive care units (ICUs), the main sources of noise described

in international research are similar: sounds from technical appliances such as alarms, noise caused by the staff talking or handling material, and communication systems such as overhead paging. With regard to patients in ICUs, sleep disturbances in terms of falling asleep and sleeping through are the greatest problem as assessed by questionnaires or by physiological measurements. They might have harmful effects on the outcome of the medical treatment, influencing the duration of recovery and the need for sedative medication. Several intervention programmes for noise reduction are reported in literature combining a variety of methods such as acoustical insulation, sound level reduction with regard to equipment, and especially behaviour modification of the staff.

© 2013 Acoustical Society of America

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