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Hugonnet S, Chevrolet JC, Pittet D. Crit Care Med. 2007;35:76-81.
Lower nurse-to-patient ratios on hospital wards have been associated with an increased rate of post-surgical complications and an increased rate of overall complications of inpatient care. This single-center study evaluated the effect of changes in nurse staffing on nosocomial infection rates in the intensive care unit (ICU) and found that a slightly higher number of patients per nurse was associated with a significantly increased infection risk, after controlling for patient risk factors. The authors hypothesize that increased nursing workload may lead to breaches in infection control protocols.