Dysphagia Care Across the Continuum: A Multidisciplinary Dysphagia Research Society Taskforce Report of Service-Delivery During the COVID-19 Global Pandemic
At the time of writing this paper, there are over 11 million reported cases of COVID-19 worldwide. Health professionals involved in dysphagia care are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in their day-to-day practices. Otolaryngologists, gastroenterologists, rehabilitation specialists, and speech-language pathologists are subject to virus exposure due to their proximity to the aerodigestive tract and reliance on aerosol-generating procedures in swallow assessments and interventions. Across the globe, professional societies and specialty associations are issuing recommendations about which procedures to use, when to use them, and how to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission during their use. Balancing safety for self, patients, and the public while maintaining adequate evidence-based dysphagia practices has become a significant challenge. This paper provides current evidence on COVID-19 transmission during commonly used dysphagia practices and provides recommendations for protection while conducting these procedures. The paper summarizes current understanding of dysphagia in patients with COVID-19 and draws on evidence for dysphagia interventions that can be provided without in-person consults and close proximity procedures including dysphagia screening and telehealth.
Miles, A., Connor, N. P., Desai, R., Jadcherla, S., Allen, J., Brodsky, M., Garand, K. L., Malandraki, G. A., McCulloch, T. M., Moss, M., Murray, J., Pulia, M., Riquelme, L. F., & Langmore, S. E. (2021). Dysphagia Care Across the Continuum: A Multidisciplinary Dysphagia Research Society Taskforce Report of Service-Delivery During the COVID-19 Global Pandemic. Dysphagia, 36 (2), 170-182. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00455-020-10153-8