Nursing staff workload as a determinant of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus spread in an adult intensive therapy unit

J Hosp Infect. 1999 Oct;43(2):109-13. doi: 10.1053/jhin.1999.0246.


Acquisition of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the intensive care unit of a tertiary referral centre was monitored over a 19-month period. The incidence of new cases of MRSA correlated with peaks of nursing staff workload and times of reduced nurse/patient ratios within the unit. This implies that nurse understaffing contributes significantly to the spread of MRSA in an ITU setting.

MeSH terms

  • Cross Infection / epidemiology*
  • England / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Methicillin Resistance*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital*
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Staphylococcal Infections / epidemiology*
  • Workload*