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Changes in oral flora in acute phase stroke patients

The acute phase stroke patients are at a greater risk from swallowing their saliva and liquid food into their windpipe due to the loss of function in muscles that prevent this happening in healthy individuals. Some acute phase stroke patients may develop further health complications related to chest infections. Deterioration in their health cause longer hospital stays, but more importantly, they are at risk of dying. We are trying to understand the nature and source of oral bacteria causing chest infections due to lack of oral hygiene. Millions of bacteria growing in the mouth can access the airways when swallowing food, medication and liquids. In vulnerable patients, food and saliva mix carrying a much higher level bacteria and spillage into the windpipe during swallowing is highly likely. Sizable infection may develop with the potential to deteriorate lung function. Our Research is currently testing this hypothesis in acute phase stroke patients.

This project is part of the Lancashire Initiative in Nursing and Caring research in Stroke (LINCS) aimed at developing excellent research opportunities for nurses, allied health professionals and clinicians to increase research capacity and capability.

Project Lead

Dr Sim K. Singhrao

Funders

It is funded through Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust Flexibility and Sustainability Funds.

Impact

To improve patient comfort and to reduce risk of secondary infection.

Timeline

2012-2013

Collaborators

School of Health & Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust,
C/O Professor Caroline Watkins,
Clinical Practice Research Unit,
University of Central Lancashire,
Brook Building,
PR1 2HE

Public Outputs

http://www.uclan.ac.uk/schools/school_of_health/lincs.php