Nurse Staffing and NICU Infection Rates

Source: Jeannette A. Rogowski, Douglas Staiger, Thelma Patrick, Jeffrey Horbar, Michael Kenny, Eileen T. Lake, JAMA Pediatrics, Published online March 18, 2013
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From the abstract:
There are substantial shortfalls in nurse staffing in US neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) relative to national guidelines. These are associated with higher rates of nosocomial infections among infants with very low birth weights…. Hospitals understaffed 32% of their NICU infants and 92% of high-acuity infants relative to guidelines. To meet minimum staffing guidelines on average would require an additional 0.11 of a nurse per infant overall and 0.39 of a nurse per high-acuity infant…. Substantial NICU nurse understaffing relative to national guidelines is widespread. Understaffing is associated with an increased risk for VLBW nosocomial infection. Hospital administrators and NICU managers should assess their staffing decisions to devote needed nursing care to critically ill infants….