Patients with fever, elevated blood sugar levels (hyperglycaemia), and swallowing difficulties (FeSS) following a stroke experience higher rates of death and disability than those without these complications.

Our program of research, running of over the last 15 years, has shown that use of the nurse-led FeSS Protocols in the first 72 hours of hospitalisation following stroke can reduce death and dependency.

Our research has resulted in improved patient outcomes and changes to policy, guidelines and clinical practice across the globe.

Program Leads

Professor Sandy Middleton

Professor of Nursing and Director of the Nursing Research Institute, St Vincent’s Health Australia (Sydney) and Australian Catholic University.

Sandy Middleton is the Professor of Nursing and Director of the Nursing Research Institute at St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and Australian Catholic University. She is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Investigator Leadership Fellow. She was the lead investigator on the landmark Quality in Acute Stroke Care (QASC) cluster randomised controlled trial demonstrating decreased death and dependency following implementation of nurse-initiated protocols to manage fever, hyperglycaemia and swallowing post-stroke, winning multiple national and international awards. These protocols have now been implemented into 64 hospitals in 17 European countries. Professor Middleton is Director of the Maridulu Budaryi Gumal Sydney Partnership for Health Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE) Implementation Science platform; Director of the Maridulu Budaryi Gumal Nursing and Midwifery Implementation Science Academy and Chair of the Steering Committee of the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry


Professor Elizabeth McInnes

Professor of Nursing and Deputy Director of the Nursing Research Institute, St Vincent’s Health Australia (Sydney) and Australian Catholic University. 

Elizabeth McInnes is Professor of Nursing at St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne and Deputy Director of the Nursing Research Institute at St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and Australian Catholic University. Professor McInnes works closely with hospital partners to develop research collaborations that address national health priorities and standards. She was co-investigator on the landmark Quality in Acute Stroke Care (QASC) cluster randomised controlled trial. Her research areas are evidence translation, clinician behaviour change and patient safety with a focus on pressure injury prevention and other hospital acquired complications. Professor McInnes is currently an investigator with the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) in Wiser Wound Care focusing on de-implementation of low value wound care.


Simeon Dale

Clinical Research Fellow, Nursing Research Institute, St Vincent’s Health Australia (Sydney) and Australian Catholic University.

Simeon Dale is a Clinical Research Fellow for the Nursing Research Institute, St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne & Australian Catholic University. She has 18 yrs clinical experience in critical care nursing specialising in Neuroscience, in three countries. Simeon is the Trial Manager for this Research Program She has published in high impact journals including the Lancet, Stroke, Implementation Science and International Journal of Stroke. Simeon is a committee member for the Acute Stroke Nurse Education Network (ASNEN) and a member of the working group of the Stroke Living Guidelines.

QASC Trial & QASC Mortality Study

 

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QASC Implementation

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QASC Europe

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QASC Australia Trial

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Contact us

If you would like to get in contact with us, please email QASC@acu.edu.au.

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