With an increasing proportion of the population living in cities, mass transportation has been rapidly expanding to facilitate the demand, yet there is a concern that mass transit has the potential to result in excessive exposure to noise, and subsequently noise-induced hearing loss.
Noise dosimetry was used to measure time-integrated noise levels in a representative sample of the Toronto Mass Transit system (subway, streetcar, and buses) both aboard moving transit vehicles and on boarding platforms from April – August 2016. 210 measurements were conducted with multiple measurements approximating 2 min on platforms, 4 min within a vehicle in motion, and 10 min while in a car, on a bike or on foot. Descriptive statistics for each type of transportation, and measurement location (platform vs. vehicle) was computed, with measurement locations compared using 1-way analysis of variance.
On average, there are 1.69 million riders per day, who are serviced by 69 subway stations, and 154 streetcar or subway routes. Average noise level was greater in the subway and bus than in the streetcar (79.8 +/− 4.0 dBA, 78.1 +/− 4.9 dBA, vs 71.5 +/−1.8 dBA,
< 0.0001). Furthermore, average noise measured on subway platforms were higher than within vehicles (80.9 +/− 3.9 dBA vs 76.8 +/− 2.6 dBA,
< 0.0001). Peak noise exposures on subway, bus and streetcar routes had an average of 109.8 +/− 4.9 dBA and range of 90.4–123.4 dBA, 112.3 +/− 6.0 dBA and 89.4–128.1 dBA, and 108.6 +/− 8.1 dBA and 103.5–125.2 dBA respectively. Peak noise exposures exceeded 115 dBA on 19.9%, 85.0%, and 20.0% of measurements in the subway, bus and streetcar respectively.
Although the mean average noise levels on the Toronto transit system are within the recommended level of safe noise exposure, cumulative intermittent bursts of impulse noise (peak noise exposures) particularly on bus routes have the potential to place individuals at risk for noise induced hearing loss.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (10.1186/s40463-017-0239-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The Choosing Wisely Canada Campaign aims to raise awareness amongst physicians and patients regarding unnecessary tests and treatment. The otology/neurotology subspecialty group within the Canadian Society of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Society developed a list of five common otologic presentations to help physicians deliver high quality effective care: (1) Don’t order specialized audiometric and vestibular testing to screen for peripheral vestibular disease, (2) Don’t perform computed tomography or blood work in the evaluation of sudden sensorineural hearing loss, (3) Don’t perform auditory brain responses (ABR) in patients with asymmetrical hearing loss, (4) Don’t prescribe oral antibiotics as first line treatment for patients with painless otorrhea associated with tympanic membrane perforation or tympanostomy tube, and (5) Don’t perform particle repositioning maneuvers without a clinical diagnosis of posterior canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.
Objective: The primary objective of this study was to review the complication rate of percutaneous tracheostomies performed by a single surgeon in a community teaching hospital. Methods: This retrospective study reviewed the patients who underwent percutaneous tracheostomy with bronchoscopic guidance in a community hospital setting between 2009 and 2017. Patients older than the age of 18 requiring percutaneous tracheostomy were chosen for this retrospective study. Patients who were medically unstable, had no palpable neck landmarks, and inadequate neck extension were excluded. Indications for percutaneous tracheostomy included patients who had failed to wean from mechanical ventilation, required pulmonary toileting, or in whom airway protection was required. Results: Of the 600 patients who received percutaneous tracheostomy, 589 patients were included in the study. Intraoperative complication (2.6%) and postoperative complication rates (11.4%) compared similarly to literature reported rates. The most common intraoperative complications were bleeding, technical difficulties, and accidental extubation. Bleeding, tube obstruction, and infection were the most common postoperative complications. Overall burden of comorbidity, defined by Charlson Comorbidity Index, and coagulopathy were also found to be associated with higher complication rates. The decannulation rate at discharge was 46.3%. Conclusion: Percutaneous tracheostomy is a safe alternative to open tracheostomies in the community setting for appropriately selected patients.
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