Who doesn’t go through a day without swallowing?
One in 25 adults in the United States suffer from dysphagia: the medical term for swallowing disorders. Swallowing problems tend to intensify with increasing age and are of particular concern for patients 65 and over in the midst of the COVID-19 era.
Severe dysphagia can lead to aspiration pneumonia, which can be a mimicker of the respiratory systems seen in COVID-19. Cough generating procedures, also called aerosol generating procedures, have been deemed high risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Rebecca Howell, MD, associate professor in the UC College of Medicine and UC Health physician, has worked with her colleagues to offer some solutions for treating swallowing patients in the backdrop of a pandemic. They are offering best practices in a recently published paper Moving Forward with Dysphagia Care: Implementing Strategies during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond.