My friends, I am right there with you. While I have to be 100% honest that this population is not one I can begin to claim immense expertise in (but one I hope to continue to gain more knowledge about!), I was still surprised to know that not only has this mode of service delivery already been dipped into, but that there is actually some general practice advice for those interested. "Telepractice is emerging as a viable option for the delivery of speech-language pathology head and neck cancer (HNC) services to assist in addressing the demands of a growing population requiring specialist speech-language pathology intervention, and to offer patients more convenient and flexible models of care"
Let's hear it for laryngeal vestibule closure y'all!!! Are you wondering what it is? Do you want to know more about it? Then here's your article folks to help you understand the whats, hows, and whys of this potentially fatal part of the swallowing mechanism that many might glance over like a stack of bills or junk mail (or all the paperwork for tax day coming up😬!).
Remember your undergraduate and/or graduate neuroanatomy course? I know some loathed it and some loved it. For me, I was in my element, so much so that I was sure my initial passion was going to be everything-neuro-TBI-related. While I still LOVE neuro and have had my share of experience within this realm for sure, reading this article brought me back to my first love, while also mixing in my more recent and exciting infatuation for dysphagia.
While doctors are learning more and more about the body/brain/gut connections, us SLPs continue to learn more about the breathing/swallowing connection (among many other things). One of these relationships that will likely continue to be in the 'hot seat' is using high-flow oxygen to improve acute respiratory compromise, while also simultaneously impacting the biomechanics of the swallowing system.
Since Cichero's article is a narrative summary (compared to systematic review), there's not as much to pick apart in study design or methodology practices. However, there is a lot of information that some may already know and some may be hearing for the first time. Key players in the review revolve around concerns that we face daily with our patients such as dehydration, how thickened liquids affect medication release/activity, and the need to feel physiologically satisfied.
“The purpose of this study is to systematically review evidence on the use of pulse oximetry in individuals with dysphagia to detect a decrease in SPO2 indicating aspiration during swallowing, toward the goal of further informing clinical practice in dysphagia assessment”
Have you ever sat down with a research journal article in hand, staring at it thinking, Where do I even start? Or What exactly is this saying? Maybe you’re even thinking, Why am I doing this? Whether we want to admit it or not, we have ALL been there. Sometimes with more excitement, other times more begrudgingly (I’ve definitely experienced the two and have accepted this love-hate relationship).
Thanks for joining me for some R&R! "Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton