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UCF interim dean’s ventilator-use study earns NIH grant

University of Central Florida College of Nursing Interim Dean and Orlando Health Distinguished Professor Mary Lou Sole, PhD, RN, CCNS, FAAN, FCCM, has received a $2.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. According to an article on the UCFToday website, she hopes to change the odds for patients by improving the way nurses manage their patients’ care when they need a ventilator.
Sole has spent more than 20 years, both as a researcher and a practicing nurse, studying nursing care practices for managing patients who have endotracheal tubes.

In her preliminary research, Sole found many critically ill patients have a lot of saliva and other fluids in the mouth. The fluids increase the risk for pneumonia, and she identified the best way to remove these fluids.

“We want to prevent complications,” Sole said in the article. “We want to improve outcomes, reduce harms and improve the quality of life for patients. If we can do that, there also will likely be a difference in the cost associated with treatment because we will be preventing costly complications.”

Sole will conduct her study over the next four years at ICUs at Orlando Regional Medical Center, a part of Orlando Health. The grant will determine if the protocol she’s developed aids in preventing complications of the ventilator.

Study protocol

The protocol for the research study for the research study calls for a standard way for nurses to remove excess fluids from the mouth and back of the throat. The team will also check patients for a special biomarker – a protein that is routinely found in saliva, but should not be found in the lungs. If it is found in the lungs it would indicate the patient has aspirated secretions from the mouth into the lungs.

About 300,000 people require ventilators each year. Patients who develop pneumonia have an increase in up to $40,000 in costs and hospital stays of up to 10 additional days.

Q&A with Mary Lou Sole

To read a Q&A with Mary Lou Sole about her research, visit

By | 2014-10-09T00:00:00-04:00 October 9th, 2014|Categories: Regional, South|0 Comments

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