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Authors

  1. Lee, Young Joo PhD, RN
  2. Lee, Taewha PhD, RN
  3. Cho, Eunhee PhD, RN
  4. Park, Sohee PhD
  5. Park, Choon Seon PhD, RN

Abstract

Prior studies have reported inconsistent findings regarding the relationship between nurse staffing and nosocomial infections in very low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants. Little is known about whether similar associations occur in Korea. The purpose of this study was to identify the nurse staffing of neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in Korea and to verify the association between nurse staffing and nosocomial infections among VLBW infants in NICUs. We selected 4654 VLBW infants admitted to 52 hospitals. Nosocomial infections were defined as incidence of bloodstream infection, urinary tract infection (UTI), or rotavirus infection. The average number of NICU patients per nurse was 4.51(minimum-maximum: 2.38-8.16). Hospitals with a higher number of patients per nurse exhibited a significant increased UTI rate (P = .005) and rotavirus infection rate (P = .025) in the univariate analysis. After adjusting for all patient and hospital characteristics, UTI significantly increased with increasing number of patients per nurse (odds ratio [OR] = 1.79; 95% confidence interval, 1.29-2.47), while bloodstream infection (OR = 0.93; 95% confidence interval, 0.79-1.09) and rotavirus infection (OR = 1.14; 95% confidence interval, 0.92-1.41) were not significant. These findings revealed that a nurse staffing in NICUs is an important factor for preventing UTI among VLBW infants.