Insufficient nurse staffing in an intensive care unit (ICU) can cause patients undergoing high-risk surgery to have postoperative complications, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions have found.
In the October Effective Clinical Practice, the researchers reported that while an optimal nurse-patient ratio remains to be determined, ICUs having ratios of one nurse for every three or four patients, rather than one nurse for one or two patients, have significantly higher rates of postsurgical complications.
Mitka M. ICU Nurses and Outcomes. JAMA. 2001;286(20):2534. doi:10.1001/jama.286.20.2534-JQU10010-2-1