LEQSLocal Environmental Quality Survey (UK)
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Although not shown in Figure 1, another interesting result was the range of Leq reported--the highest and lowest Leq values measured in each study.
Figure 2 shows differences between occupied and unoccupied dBA Leq levels for the various units from Table 2.
The unoccupied background noise measured in the cancer unit was 47 dB(A) Leq and rated as spectrally "neutral" sounding by the Room Criteria method, meaning that it should not have been perceived as "rumbly" or "hissy" sounding (35).
The more detailed acoustic measures are also needed to fully reflect occupant response--e.g., perception of the Neuro ICU B and Med Surg ICU B differed but this was not conveyed through traditional occupied Leq measures.
Therefore in this study the parameters for each subspecialty that are based on the subset of measurements are considered more accurate and the Figure 3 Leqs by octave band are based on longer measurements.
Examination of Figure 3, shows that Leqs by octave bands for the three subspecialties with the greatest number of noise measurements lasting 70% of the intraoperative phase--orthopaedics, gynaecology, and general surgery, and for neurology--move in concert until the graph for orthopaedic surgery deviates, rising higher than the others at about 2,000 Hz; at 16,000 Hz it has increased by 8-10 dB more than the others.
As well, it should be noted that average sound pressure levels (Leq), also referred to as average noise levels, are usually measured on an A-weighted dB scale that filters out frequencies below 1kHz to best reflect how the human ear hears noise (Kam 1994).
In a 2003 OR study for example, in which noise was only measured in orthopaedic surgeries, average noise (Leq) ranged between 74.8 to 82.1 dB(A) (Love 2003).