School of Medicine Student Publications

Student Author(s)

Kendall J. Burdick; Christine J. Callahan

UMMS Affiliation

School of Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Critical Care | Medical Education | Quality Improvement


An estimated 70% of patients who have been in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) experience some form of Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS). As a stressful environment, the ICU can be traumatic for any patient; however, the disruption of sleep experienced by patients in ICU negatively impacts their mental status and recovery. One of the most significant contributors to sleep disruption is the constant blare of monitor alarms, many of which are false or redundant. Through multisensory approaches and procedural redesign, the hostile acoustic environment of the ICU that causes so many to suffer from PICS may be alleviated. In this paper, we present suggestions for improving the ICU acoustic environment to possibly reduce the incidence of post-ICU complications such as PICS.


post-intensive care syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, multisensory alarm, multimodal design, proactive care, intensive care unit

Rights and Permissions

© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

DOI of Published Version



Burdick KJ, Callahan CJ. Sleeping Soundlessly in the Intensive Care Unit. Multimodal Technologies and Interaction. 2020; 4(1):6.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Multimodal Technologies and Interaction

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.