Is it as critical as we think? A Systematic Analysis of Dysphagia in Acute and Critical Care

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Because medical status in the acute and critical care environments can change in the blink of an eye for multiple reasons, our evaluations, treatment plans, and recommendations often metamorphosize simultaneously as well. A lot of the times in acute/critical care, we may not be able to implement many strategies, exercises, techniques, or recommendations due to complex reasons. So, what do we do with critical patients? ⚠️⚠️WARNING:⚠️⚠️ This article is not for the faint of mind. I know I definitely had a hard time grappling with some of what I read, but peeling these layers back of what we don’t know keeps pushing us forward as professionals. Please read at your own risk of uncovering reflective questioning, biases, and challenges to any previous notions that “because we are medical professional” (me included), our presence is the end-all-be-all . . 😳🤔

The science behind why positives and negatives don’t mix at bedside

Boy oh boy. If you've been keeping up with latest The Leader lowdown, you might've had many thoughts running rampant in your mind when reading a particular article. Among these very intense thoughts, one might've been, "Where do I even start?!?!" (you may choose your own emoji here😉). Instead of a big deep dive into one article analyzing and critically thinking about a single study, we already know what we're after so, I felt surface-level crumbs of info would suffice for now to help lead others to the big picture.

Breathing with COPD is one thing, Swallowing is another story…

In the spirit of the holidays, there's a lot to be thankful for this year. This article made me incredibly grateful for all the clear, specific, and comprehensive information the authors provided throughout this 🤩MUST-READ🤩 article on the COPD population. Whether you're a #newbie figuring out what to do, or a #seasonedSLP curious of why you're seeing what you're seeing, from the spot-on background on COPD, to the detailed descriptions and colorfully-created graphs that give you a clear picture of what's it all about, this article will make you appreciate what you know, what you don't, and everything you'll learn after reading!🥰

Tom-ay-to, Tom-ah-to, TOMASS! Testing mastication and swallowing

I’d be rich if I had a nickel for every time I assessed (aka observe and internally analyzed) a patient chewing. I’d be even more rich for all the times I did this without actually knowing what was going on, essentially guessing how long it took to chew and swallow, how many times they had to chew, if they were able to move the solid bolus around cohesively, if they were taking a long time to enjoy the food or because of some type of impairment… That's just what the heroic Huckabee planned with this article and validated assessment tool. You know when you're frantically searching for the one shirt or shoe in your closet, only to find something else you completely forgot about? That's how I happened to come back to this approach I'd been meaning to look into (for #IDK how many months🤦‍♀️😬).

How to Read a Clinical Research Article Pt. 2

I for one have always been a sucker for “classics." Classic cars, classic fashion staples, classic movies on a rainy night. The reason why I’m drawn to classic things is because they tend to withstand the test of what we find the enemy these days---TIME. So I found it comforting in Sackett’s article to find that we, as speech-language pathologists, are not alone in the classic fight to keep up with and be informed of research literature. “This article review has been prepared for those clinicians who are behind in their clinical reading.”

ASHA, SLP, & EBP in 2020: Guest Post featuring Rebecca Bowen, M.A. CCC-SLP, ASHA Clinical Research Associate

Have you ever wished there were breadcrumbs along the way to know if you're on the right path?? Or ever have an idea or question for what might or might not be appropriate for your patient, but just not that confident when turning your eyes to the research evidence?? Well, after months and months of work updating and fine-tuning its resources, ASHA has finally brought you something that's much easier to find, navigate, and manage in order to help you help your patients! This post was written by Rebecca Bowen, a speech-language pathologist clinician and Clinical Research Associate at ASHA’s National Center for Evidence-Based Practice in Communication Disorders. Her main role is to curate the Evidence Maps, create resources, and help practicing clinicians implement EBP. Here she gives you an exclusive, inside look at what ASHA's National Center for Evidence-Based Practice is now offering for us busy SLPs. Enjoy!😃

What’s an SLP to do? Recent Review on Cuff Inflation, Aspiration, and Oral Feeding

For the SLPs who have trach-on-the-brain or those less familiar but wanting to know more, this article attempts to shed a new light on what we knew, what we think we know, and what we now know about managing the "trachoestomy population" when it comes to swallowing function, aspiration, and inflated cuff.

Healthcare, Adults, COVID-19, and Acute Care in Hospitals: Recent Recommendations

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Do you remember in school (high school, undergrad, grad school, anywhere), where you were studying for an exam, going over all your notes and materials, feeling in utter despair and desparation because "How in the heck are you supposed to know all of the information?!?" Then, a miracle happened and the teacher sent out a guide or study sheet to help you focus on what specifically you should be worrying about, thus removing the huge weights off your shoulders (and maybe ending the incessant and stress-induced snacking). Okay, I obviously can't equate the recent article to a miracle, but, I think we can all agree it's helpful (sometimes anything is helpful in these times!). Don't fret, more comprehensive reviews will continue, but if you're anything like me these days, a simpler, easy-to-guide can mean the world.👍🌏

But…Why? A systematic look if patients actually adhere to your recommendations

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"Adherence is a critical component of any treatment plan. To effectively achieve the desired result of a therapy intervention, the patient must participate in the recommended treatment, often independently without direct clinical supervision. Poor adherence to clinical recommendations may render evidence-based interventions ineffective, ultimately causing immense financial burden on the healthcare system as a whole." Sound familiar? Feel familiar? And if our top-notch plans aren't being followed, "What's the point?" Maybe the overly dramatic teen in me is coming out, but when it comes down to it, we really are all on the same team, so it's up to us to figure it out, and that's just what this article attempts to do.

“The one where you hold your Adam’s apple up”: The mystery of the Mendelsohn Manuever

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I remember reading the directions for Mendelsohn in Logemann's original textbook as a student, feeling my own "Adam's apple" rise and lower, seeing how long I could even hold it. For a beginner clinician (and somewhat thereafter), it was quite confusing and vague, but eventually I got the hang of it (or learned to "let it hang"?). BUT, did you know the Mendelsohn hadn't been looked at or "tested" by itself to see if it helped swallow function? Check out the article review to learn what WAS found!