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Enhancing Dysphagia Management Skills During COVID-19: Key Insights from ESSD Commentary

Enhancing Dysphagia Management Skills During COVID-19: Key Insights from ESSD Commentary
The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated rapid adaptations in healthcare practices, particularly in the management of dysphagia. The ESSD Commentary on Dysphagia Management During COVID Pandemia offers critical insights for practitioners. Here, we delve into the key recommendations and their practical applications to enhance your skills and improve patient outcomes.

Balancing Risk and Care in Dysphagia Management

During the pandemic, the management of oropharyngeal dysphagia requires balancing the risk of complications, such as aspiration pneumonia and malnutrition, against the risk of COVID-19 infection. The ESSD Commentary emphasizes the importance of triaging patients to determine the necessity of dysphagia assessment, particularly for those at significant risk of complications or with suspected life-threatening conditions.

Implementing Telepractice and Compensatory Treatments

To minimize the risk of infection, telepractice is highly encouraged. Practitioners should leverage remote systems to gather information about patients' COVID-19 status and dysphagia risks. Compensatory treatments are recommended for both COVID-positive and COVID-negative patients. These include:

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Guidelines

The ESSD Commentary provides detailed PPE guidelines to protect healthcare professionals:Training in the proper use of PPE is crucial to ensure safety during assessments and treatments.

When to Perform Instrumental Assessments

Instrumental assessments, such as Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study and Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing, should be performed only if necessary and if appropriate cleaning and processing of instruments can be guaranteed. These assessments are reserved for cases where clinical evaluation does not provide sufficient diagnostic information.

Conclusion

The ESSD Commentary provides a framework to support clinicians in adapting their practices during the pandemic. By following these guidelines, practitioners can ensure safe and effective dysphagia management while mitigating the risk of COVID-19 transmission. For further detailed recommendations and practical information, we encourage you to read the original research paper.ESSD Commentary on Dysphagia Management During COVID Pandemia

Citation: Schindler, A., Baijens, L. W. J., Clave, P., Degen, B., Duchac, S., Dziewas, R., ... & Rommel, N. (2020). ESSD Commentary on Dysphagia Management During COVID Pandemia. Dysphagia, 36(4), 764-767. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00455-020-10194-z

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