September 1, 2022

Risk of COVID-19 in HCWs working in ICU vs non-ICU settings

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

This study from Saudi Arabia finds that nurses working in the intensive care unit (ICU) had a significantly higher risk of COVID-19 infection.

A total of 1,594 healthcare workers (HCWs) with COVID-19 infections were analyzed—103 working in the ICU and 1,491 working in non-ICU locations. The ICU had more nurses than non-ICU locations (54.4% vs 22.1%) and less support staff (2.8% vs 53.1%).

The researchers found that:

  • COVID-19 infections were similar in ICU and non-ICU locations (9.0% vs 9.8%); however, they were significantly higher in ICU nurses (12.3% vs 6.5%).
  • Support staff had higher risk of COVID-19 infections than other HCWs, whether they worked in ICU or non-ICU settings (15.1% vs 7.2%).

The findings underscore the importance of strict implementation of preventive measures among all HCWs, the researchers concluded.

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