Patients with tracheostomy tube after major cardiac surgery undergoing Cardiac Rehabilitation Program often present swallowing disorders that need a specific evaluation. This study aimed at validating the usefulness of a swallowing screen protocol in order to obtain an early assessment of dysphagia and to prevent aspiration, malnutrition and dehydration risks. The protocol has been applied to 38 consecutive patients with tracheostomy tube after cardiac surgery between September 2007 and December 2009. The average age of patients was 73 +/- 6 years; the average value of left ventricular ejection fraction was 41 +/- 4%. The protocol included a water swallowing test and a specific swallowing test with blue dye. During tests, the presence of signs of swallowing dysfunction was evaluated and oxygen saturation levels were monitored. Out of 38 patients, 2 did not show any swallowing deficits; 18 showed deficits in the water swallowing test even though they presented a preserved swallowing function during specific swallowing test. All these 20 patients (53%), before discharge, restarted an oral feeding and obtained an adequate body mass index and effective coughing, so they were soon decannulated. Twelve patients (31%) showed deficits during the water swallowing test, confirmed by the specific swallowing test with blue dye: the tracheostomy tube was not removed and a specific program of swallowing rehabilitation was performed. Before discharge all patients restarted an oral feeding, recovered an effective coughing and were decannulated. Six patients (16%), because of persistent dysphagia, underwent percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy. None of these 38 patients developed ab ingestis pneumonia, dehydration or malnutrition. An early assessment of swallowing in patients with tracheostomy tube after cardiac surgery allows the selection of patients with higher aspiration risk, preventing possible severe complications.
|Translated title of the contribution||[Diagnosis and management of dysphagia in patients with tracheostomy tube after cardiac surgery: an early screening protocol].|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Monaldi Archives for Chest Disease - Cardiac Series|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2010|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine