Ambient lighting trial to gauge outcome on sick babies' health

Philips deploys innovative LED system at Bristol neonatal intensive care unit

An eight month trial will explore the impact of Philips\' ambient lighting system on the health of babies and performance of staff at St Michaels Hospital neonatal intensive care unit

A neonatal intensive care unit in Bristol has become the first in the UK to install an ambient LED lighting system after a year-long trial revealed the positive effect it can have on patients.

The recently-expanded unit at St Michael’s Hospital has deployed Philips’ LuxSpace and Savio LED lighting ranges which, in contrast to harsh fluorescent bulbs, can be dimmed in a range of colours. When required, it can also be made brighter over each individual cot when hospital staff are caring for babies or analysing data on the special Philips IntelliVue bedside screens. These information systems are used to record the effect the lighting has on the young patients. In addition, in clinical areas dynamic lighting, which mimics the changing nature of natural daylight, is being used to help staff stay alert.

When caring for babies with such serious conditions little wonder stress levels can be high, but what St Michael’s seeks to demonstrate is that a calming atmosphere, when applied to a high tech environment, may benefit patients, parents and staff alike

The move follows the results, earlier this year, of a trial among cardiac patients at the Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands, which found they slept on average 10% longer and fell asleep 30% more quickly when treated on a ward fitted with the company's HealWell lighting solution.

The results provide further evidence of a link between the impact of lighting on quality of sleep and, potentially, the knock-on effect this could have on the overall recovery process.

Philips Research will use the deployment at St Michael's Hospital to carry out an eight-month study into how the lighting affects clinical outcomes, babies’ health and staff performance.

The lighting has changed the whole ambience of the room and we look forward to the findings of the research study later in the year

Sue Harris from the Philips’ mother and child care business unit, said: “We are delighted to have drawn on our Healthcare and Lighting expertise to bring the very best we can offer to the invaluable work the unit at St Michael’s provides. Any subtle change in the babies’ condition is picked up by the Intellivue system used here, allowing staff to provide quality care to these babies some of whom may require vital surgery. When caring for babies with such serious conditions little wonder stress levels can be high, but what St Michael’s seeks to demonstrate is that a calming atmosphere, when applied to a high tech environment, may benefit patients, parents and staff alike.”

Kay Pullen, unit matron, added: “The lighting is a great improvement. Without doubt, the facility now is second to none in terms of state-of-the-art medical equipment, but it is perhaps the visual impression that makes it even more exceptional.

“The lighting has changed the whole ambience of the room and we look forward to the findings of the research study later in the year.”

The LuxSpace fittings are controlled using Philips' Dynalite system and Cove QLX technology. Utility rooms are eqiupped with Savio dynamic lighting.

Companies