Swallowing Evaluation and Ventilator Dependency—Considerations and Contemporary Approaches With the advent of advanced life-saving practices, speech-language pathologists will continue to see a surge in the number of patients dependent on ventilators in both the acute and chronic phases of the health care continuum. Today, there are more individuals requiring ventilators, whether in the intensive care unit (ICU), in ... Article
Article  |   March 01, 2011
Swallowing Evaluation and Ventilator Dependency—Considerations and Contemporary Approaches
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lori M. Burkhead
    Department of Otolaryngology, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Articles
Article   |   March 01, 2011
Swallowing Evaluation and Ventilator Dependency—Considerations and Contemporary Approaches
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), March 2011, Vol. 20, 18-22. doi:10.1044/sasd20.1.18
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), March 2011, Vol. 20, 18-22. doi:10.1044/sasd20.1.18

With the advent of advanced life-saving practices, speech-language pathologists will continue to see a surge in the number of patients dependent on ventilators in both the acute and chronic phases of the health care continuum. Today, there are more individuals requiring ventilators, whether in the intensive care unit (ICU), in long-term care facilities, or in the community. In the past, it has been common to delay rehabilitation efforts in the ICU patient who requires a ventilator, based on the rationale that patients are too sick. This excuse no longer fits with contemporary knowledge regarding best practices in the ICU. Additionally, this argument is moot with regard to patients with diagnoses that will mandate long-term ventilator use. Our profession must understand and be able to address the unique concerns and needs regarding swallowing in those with either transient or chronic ventilator dependency.

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