Intensive care patients suffer from stress and loudness

Intensive care patients suffer from stress and loudness

"Adaptive Healing Room" is intended to reduce stress for patients in intensive care units
There is often an unpleasant background noise in the intensive care unit: it beeps and rattles, nurses, nurses and doctors constantly run into the rooms to care for the patients. This often triggers stress in the seriously ill, which can have a negative impact on the course of the disease. A new intelligent room and alarm concept for intensive care units should prevent this in the future. In the Berlin Charité and the University Hospital Münster (UKM) so-called “Adaptive Healing Rooms” were set up, which are said to have a calming effect on the patients.

Sunlight is simulated in the “Adaptive Healing Room” of the intensive care unit
There is a lot of activity in intensive care units because the seriously ill have to be looked after around the clock. It is not uncommon for the light to be on even at night, which often leads to patients developing a disturbed day-night rhythm. The background noise is also high at around 85 decibels. This corresponds to a busy street five meters away.

A new room concept is intended to significantly reduce the stress of intensive care patients and have a positive effect on the course of the disease. A so-called “Adaptive Healing Room” was set up at the Berlin Charité around eighteen months ago. In the University Hospital of Münster, two rooms in the intensive care unit were also converted accordingly for around 85,000 euros. The rooms are friendly in orange-yellow and all connections for computers, oxygen and medication pumps are hidden behind a wall paneling. "For example, sunlight is simulated by light of a certain wavelength so that messenger substances are released in the body," explains Prof. Björn Ellger, head of operative intensive care medicine. "These can be positive for the healing process."

The patient also looks at a multimedia wall which, depending on his mood, shows photos of the patient's family, familiar landscapes or calming waves on the beach.
“Such projections provide orientation about time, location and daily planning. This gives the patient security, ”says Ellger. "In addition, all of these measures improve the atmosphere that is often perceived as threatening by patients and their relatives in intensive care units."

Adaptive Healing Room can prevent delirium
In the "Adaptive Healing Room" the seriously ill are in the foreground. "We are particularly concerned with patients who are at high risk of developing delirium," Professor Hugo Van Aken told the news agency "dpa". This affects about 20 percent of all patients, almost half of those over 65, according to the intensive care physician. The delirium is a result of restlessness and background noise and is expressed, among other things, by the fact that the person concerned talks nonsense or falls out of bed. "It is therefore very important to us to minimize the delirium-triggering factors for our patients as far as possible", emphasizes Prof. Norbert Roeder, Medical Director and CEO of the UKM.

Professor Uwe Janssens of the German Society for Internal Intensive Care Medicine supports the new room and alarm concepts of the "Adaptive Healing Room". While it has not yet been proven that patients can live longer thanks to an improved environment, it is clear that noise and stress have no positive effects. "Anyone who reduces noise automatically increases security," Janssens told the news agency. However, economic constraints led to considerable problems when implementing the new models, especially in smaller houses.

Intensive care doctor Professor Bernd Böttiger from Cologne University Hospital also emphasizes to the agency that it is very difficult to reduce stress levels. Large windows through which patients look at cherry trees and nursing staff who only use flashlights to enter the room at night are measures that are taken in his clinic to reduce stress. (ag)

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