Sound Level Within Transport Incubator During Use of Ambulance Siren


  • Keely Gibb Student
  • Richard Egwabor
  • Abitalib Kagalwala
  • Cheryl Aubertin
  • Kim Greenwood
  • Jean Ngoie
  • Stephanie Redpath
  • Andrew A.M. Ibey
  • Adrian D.C. Chan
  • James R. Green
  • Robert G. Langlois


Neonatal transport, transport incubator, ground ambulance, noise exposure, sound pressure level


During medical transport, neonates may be exposed to high levels of sound and vibration. A ground ambulance test had been performed in collaboration with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the Ottawa Paramedic Service to quantify sound and vibration at the transport incubator location. Ambulance sirens were not utilized during this test, although in emergency transport they are activated for short periods when required. An interest in quantifying the sound levels due to the ambulance siren was expressed. This paper presents the findings from a stationary siren test, which has been completed to assess the sound level within the ambulance cabin, inside the transport incubator, and at the driver location. The vehicle’s two siren tones were run over 30 second durations, and the A-weighted sound pressure levels at the three locations were evaluated, as well as the frequency response in the form of power spectral density. The sound levels within the incubator averaged 65 dBA and 67 dBA during the two tones, both exceeding the recommended level of 60 dBA. The findings support a recommended practice of limiting siren use when transporting neonatal patients.




How to Cite

K. Gibb, “Sound Level Within Transport Incubator During Use of Ambulance Siren”, CMBES Proc., vol. 46, Jun. 2024.