A University of Central Florida professor has been awarded a $2.3 million grant to study ways to reduce pneumonia for patients on ventilators.
The National Institutes of Health awarded the grant to nursing professor Mary Lou Sole last week.
Sole discovered in preliminary research that critically-ill patients often have saliva and other fluids building up in their mouths. The risk of pneumonia increases if the fluids leak into the lungs from the breathing tube.
Sole's research will focus on whether removing those fluids in the mouth decreases the chances of getting pneumonia.
Sole will conduct her research over the next four years at intensive care units at Orlando Regional Medical Center.