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Section 4: How can the Speech and Language Therapist help?

Dysphagia: how can the Speech and Language Therapist help?

  • Detailed and accurate assessment.
  • Accurate diagnosis of dysphagia which may assist with the differential medical thoughts.
  • Ensuring safety (reducing or preventing aspiration) with regards to swallowing function.
  • Balancing risk factors with quality of life, taking into account the individual's preferences and beliefs.
  • Working with other members of the team, particularly dieticians, to optimise nutrition and hydration.
  • Stimulating improved swallowing with oral motor/sensory exercises, swallow techniques and positioning.

'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly, efficiently and professionally with full explanations and compassion from all staff involved'.

Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital