NICU Standard 26: Illumination of Support Areas

Illumination of support areas within the NICU, including the charting areas, medication preparation area, the reception desk, and handwashing areas, shall conform to IES specifications10.

Interpretation: Illumination should be adequate in areas of the NICU where staff perform important or critical tasks; the IES specifications in these areas are similar to but somewhat more specific than the general guidelines recommended by AAP/ACOG2.

In locations where these functions overlap with infant care areas (e.g., close proximity of the staff charting area to infant beds), the design should nevertheless permit separate light sources with independent controls so the very different needs of sleeping infants and working staff can be accommodated to the greatest possible extent. Care must be taken, however, to insure that bright light from these locations does not reach the infants’ eyes.

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