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Lighting for Today's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

by Patricia Rizzo, Mark Rea, Robert White
Newborn and Infant Nursing Reviews ()


Lighting plays a pivotal role in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). Lighting must accommodate 3 distinctly different groups: newborns, health care professionals, and families. Although wards housing several infants still exist, many NICUs are being designed as a series of single-family rooms. All individuals interacting in these environments have a right to expect a supportive lighting system. Lighting should be quiet, reliable, efficient, and maintenance-free. Lighting should be as simple to change as the moment-to-moment needs of the different populations change. The intent of this article is to provide relevant direction as it pertains to lighting design in today's NICUs. After reviewing the lighting accommodations required for 3 distinctly different groups of people—infants, families, and staff—basic concepts deemed important for design considerations in the NICU are outlined. This article puts forth a goal-oriented approach to ensuring a successful lighting result, and refers to useful lighting resources.

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