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OTORINOLARINGOLOGIA

A Journal on Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery,
Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, Otoneurosurgery


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Otorinolaringologia 2009 March;59(1):7-18

language: Italian

Management of swallowing in patients on ventilatory support

Cosimo O., Balestra L., Belloni G. P.

Area Intensiva, Montecatone Rehabilitation Institute Imola, Bologna, Italia


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Aim. The authors describe their experience in the management of swallowing in patients on ventilatory support.
Methods. The study was conducted between January 2006 and June 2008 at the Intensive Care Unit of the Montecatone Rehabilitation Institute, Imola (Bologna, Italy) where the majority of patients are hospitalized for recovery after post-traumatic spinal cord injuries, other types of injuries, and severe brain damage.
Results and conclusion. The study population was 120 patients with spinal cord injuries who had been transferred from other institutions and were receiving mechanical ventilation and enteral nutrition. Of these, 119 completed the rehabilitation program; 9 are presently on continuous mechanical ventilation; enteral feeding could not be maintained in 1 patient with severe dysphagia. The outcome assessment showed that the patient’s quality of life is higher than expected when patients are educated to coordinate swallowing during speaking and taking food by mouth, even in those who cannot be weaned from the ventilator.

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