Dysphagia following intubation during the COVID-19 pandemic

Dysphagia is a known sequela of mechanical ventilation and intubation. About a third of patients discharged from hospital after acute respiratory distress syndrome present with dysphagia. The authors of this review have considered the implications for patients intubated due to...

Increasing tongue strength to reduce dysphagia: what is the potential benefit of a device driven exercise?

Weakness in tongue muscle strength and laryngeal elevation is known to have an adverse impact on swallowing function. Various swallowing exercises are often recommended to improve function of these important structures with the goal of preventing aspiration and improving swallow...

Assessing post-extubation dysphagia on the intensive care unit

The incidence of post-extubation dysphagia (PED) is reported to be about 12% in the general ICU population and around 18% in patients admitted to ICU as emergencies. PED was found to be an independent predictor of 28-day and 90-day mortality....

Who finds it hard to swallow?

Early identification of dysphagia in inpatients on acute stroke wards has been recommended as best practice guidelines in many countries. However, several institutions fail to use formal dysphagia screening protocols and rely on informal detection by nurses and doctors. This...

Are there benefits of prophylactic swallowing exercises for patients with head and neck cancer?

This randomised controlled trial aimed to establish the impact of prophylactic swallowing exercises in patients undergoing chemoradiation therapy for head and neck cancer. The primary outcome was the functional oral intake scale (FOIS), although secondary measures for feeding tube use,...

Long-term swallowing function in bilateral vocal cord immobility

Vocal cord immobility is the second most common abnormality of the larynx in the paediatric population. The team from New York aimed to characterise the long-term swallowing function in a cohort of patients with bilateral vocal cord immobility over a...

Radiation-induced dysphagia in head and neck cancer

This is a helpful reference paper that provides an overview of the biomolecular effects of radiation on the tissues of the upper aero-digestive tract. The authors explain that radiation injuries occur in a repetitive and accruing manner over the duration...

Differing types of pharyngeal pouch

This article raised an eyebrow on the grounds that apparently more than one type of pharyngeal pouch exists! They differ in terms of aetiology, site and approach to treatment, therefore awareness of them is advised to ensure the appropriate surgical...