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Dysphagia ; 36(2): 170-182, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-639039


At the time of writing this paper, there are over 11 million reported cases of COVID-19 worldwide. Health professionals involved in dysphagia care are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in their day-to-day practices. Otolaryngologists, gastroenterologists, rehabilitation specialists, and speech-language pathologists are subject to virus exposure due to their proximity to the aerodigestive tract and reliance on aerosol-generating procedures in swallow assessments and interventions. Across the globe, professional societies and specialty associations are issuing recommendations about which procedures to use, when to use them, and how to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission during their use. Balancing safety for self, patients, and the public while maintaining adequate evidence-based dysphagia practices has become a significant challenge. This paper provides current evidence on COVID-19 transmission during commonly used dysphagia practices and provides recommendations for protection while conducting these procedures. The paper summarizes current understanding of dysphagia in patients with COVID-19 and draws on evidence for dysphagia interventions that can be provided without in-person consults and close proximity procedures including dysphagia screening and telehealth.

COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Deglutition Disorders/therapy , Infection Control/organization & administration , Telemedicine/organization & administration , COVID-19/transmission , Humans
Am J Speech Lang Pathol ; 29(4): 1850-1865, 2020 11 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-660125


Purpose This document outlines initial recommendations for speech-language pathology management of adult patients with COVID-19 in the acute hospital setting. Method The authors initially developed these recommendations by adapting those developed for physical therapists working with patients with COVID-19 by Thomas et al. (2020). The recommendations then underwent review by 14 speech-language pathologists and rehabilitation-focused academics representing seven countries (Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, the United States). The authors consolidated and reviewed the feedback in order to decide what should be included or modified. Applicability to a global audience was intended throughout the document. Results The authors had 100% agreement on the elements of the recommendations that needed to be changed/modified or added. The final document includes recommendations for speech-language pathology workforce planning and preparation, caseload management, service delivery and documentation, as well as recommendations for the selection of appropriate personal protective equipment and augmentative and alternative communication equipment in the acute care hospital setting. Conclusions Speech-language pathologists play a critical role in the assessment, management, and treatment of patients with COVID-19. Several important considerations need to be made in order to meet the needs of this unique patient population. As more is learned about the impact of the virus on swallowing and communication, the role of the speech-language pathologist on interdisciplinary care teams will remain paramount.

Coronavirus Infections/rehabilitation , Pneumonia, Viral/rehabilitation , Speech-Language Pathology/organization & administration , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Consensus , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , SARS-CoV-2