Most people have heard about lasting symptoms of COVID-19 months after the initial symptoms have subsided. Very few of us have heard about the impact of COVID-19 on swallowing. In this episode, I interview Avital Winer, speech and language pathologist and acting profession leader of speech-language pathology and audiology at the Ottawa Hospital, who explains to us how COVID-19 can impact one's swallowing ability and the many challenges that speech-language pathologists must face when caring for their patients. During the episode, we talk about a recent news article that was published, featuring the role of speech-language pathologists in the hospital setting as it pertains to COVID-19: "The speech pathologists helping COVID-19 patients learn how to swallow and speak again". Although speech-language pathologists have always been involved in the care of patients with swallowing difficulties (dysphagia), their role has not always been well understood by other healthcare professionals and the public. The pandemic has shed some light on the importance of the speech-language pathologists as frontline workers who have the training, the knowledge and the expertise to assess and treat patients who may be at risk of developing or who have swallowing difficulties.
The Langmore et al. (2002) study: Predictors of Aspiration Pneumonia in Nursing Home Residents is mentioned during this episode. The abstract can be found here.
If you aren't familiar with the Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing, you can find more information about it here.
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Chantal Mayer-Crittenden, Speech-Language Pathologist and researcher, hosts a bevy of guests on the topic of communication at large.