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More Children Admitted to Intensive Care But With Lower Staffing Ratios: Report

Update Date: Sep 29, 2014 01:16 PM EDT
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More children than ever are being admitted to intensive care units in England and Wales, but there are fewer staff per bed available to cope with the increase, finds a new report. 

The report showed that there was a 15 percent increase in admissions over a 10-year period between 2004 and 2013, however it also included an increase of 4 percent that was not due to changes in the childhood population. 

Meanwhile, staffing levels increased by 36 percent but this increase did not match the 40 percent increase in pediatric intensive care beds. 

"Paediatric intensive care units continue to have difficulty achieving the Paediatric Intensive Care Society standards for nursing care," Professor Liz Draper from the University of Leicester said in the press release. 

"Over time, the complexity of care that some of these children have required has increased, yet staffing levels have not risen to meet this need. A large number of cases require more than one nurse to attend to a child in a paediatric intensive care bed, so there is still great pressure on these nursing staff to deliver under often very difficult conditions."

The research was published jointly by the University of Leeds and University of Leicester.

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