Research tackling infections among critically ill

In 25 years as a nurse, Peggy Oldfield has seen more than her share of infections. Her research as a student pursuing a Masters of Science in nursing is dedicated to preventing their occurrence among the critically ill.

Returning to school after 25 years as a nurse, Peggy Oldfield is pursuing her Masters of Science degree and continuing her study of the immune system.

Research by her faculty adviser Maher El-Masri linked blood stream infections in trauma patients with chest tubes. Oldfield is undertaking a review of hospitalized patients who have had chest tubes to determine other factors relating to the development of these infections.

“Our current research study is examining the relationship between this temporary immune depression and whether or not the patient develops an infection during his or her hospital stay,” Oldfield says. “If we find that there is a correlation we may want to look at ways of further protecting the patients from the possibility of developing an infection.”

Although the return to a school environment is still new to Oldfield, she says research is an area she is comfortable with.

“I had always worked in a critical care setting and had been involved in research prior as a study coordinator on a couple of occasions,” she says. “My goals in embarking on the Masters’ program was to gain knowledge that would make me more effective in my current roles at work. Having the opportunity to be involved in some worthwhile research was an added bonus.”

(Courtesy photo)

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