CBSN

16 nurses who work in the same ICU are pregnant

MESA, Ariz. -- Sixteen nurses who work in the intensive care unit of an Arizona hospital are pregnant, CBS Phoenix affiliate KPHO reports. And the majority of them are due between October and January. 

"They're wondering what's in the water," nurse Ashley Atkinsm said, according to the station.

The nurses at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa, just east of Phoenix, said they didn't know so many were expecting until members kept getting added to a Facebook group chat that the nurses created.

Nurse Jolene Garrow described it as "one after another after another."

The hospital is working to ensure the women stay healthy, KPHO reports.

"There are certain disease processes that we don't want the nurses to be exposed to. Certain infections," said Heather Francis, director of nursing for Banner Desert's Trauma Neural ICU and Medical ICU. "Also, chemotherapy drugs can be very toxic to the fetus." 

A string of maternity leaves is expected to create a rush of absences. 

But officials say they're prepared. "We've been planning for this for months," said Francis.