Difficulty Swallowing Tip Sheet by Lucysiefker


									   Difficulty Swallowing
          Tip Sheet
Warning Signs                                      Techniques
n	 Takes	a	long	time	to	swallow                    n	 Give	small,	manageable	sips	or	bites
n	 Needs	to	swallow	3-4	times	for	each	bite        n	 Use	a	nose	cup	or	full	glass	to	keep	head	
n	 Coughing                                           from	tilting	back
n	 Frequent	throat	clearing                        n	 Keep	upright	for	30	minutes	after	eating
n	 Difficulty	controlling	liquids	in	mouth         n	 Avoid	dry	food	—	moisten	with	sauce
n	 Wet/gurgly	voice                                	 or	broth
n	 Pockets	food	in	the	mouth                       n	 NEVER	RUSH
n	 Spits	food	out                                  n	 Be	very	attentive
n	 Takes	more	than	45	minutes	to	eat	meal          n	 Check	mouth	carefully	after	meal	—	
n	 Rocks	the	tongue	back	and	forth	                	 clear	all	food	particles	from	the	mouth

Signs to Report                                    If choking occurs
n	 Oral	leaking
n	 Choking/gagging	
                                                   during feeding
n	 Pocketing	food                                  n	 Stop	feeding	immediately
n	 Taking	longer	than	2-10	seconds	to	swallow      n	 Call	for	assistance
n	 Choking	on	pieces	of	food                       n	 Utilize	Heimlich	maneuver,	if	needed
                                                   n	 Lean	the	individual	forward	(If	unable	to	sit,	
                                                      turn	head	to	side)
Positioning                                        n	 Do	not	give	water	or	fluids	until
                                                   	 symptoms	subside
n	 90	degree	angle                                 n	 Trained	personnel	may	need	to	use	
n	 If	paralyzed	on	one	side,	turn	head	slightly	      suctioning	techniques
   to	the	weak	side	&	slightly	down
n	 Poor	tongue	control:
	 •	 If	paralyzed	on	one	side,	place	food
                                                           NOTE: Straws may not be safe!
	 	 on	strong	side
	 •	 Try	placing	food	on	the	back	of	the	
	 	 tongue	for	tongue	thrusting                    Arkansas
          Always follow the                        Program
    recommendations of the SLP,                    Enhancing Nursing Home Care in Arkansas
     in addition to your facility’s                                          www.afmc.org/aipp

        policy and procedures.                     This	 material	 was	 prepared	 by	 the	 Arkansas	 Foundation	 for	 Medical	 Care	 Inc.	 (AFMC)	
                                                   under	contract	with	the	Arkansas	Department	of	Human	Services,	Division	of	Medical	
                                                   Services.	 The	 contents	 presented	 do	 not	 necessarily	 reflect	 Arkansas	 DHS	 policy.	 The	
                                                   Arkansas	Department	of	Human	Services	is	in	compliance	with	Titles	VI	and	VII	of	the	
                                                   Civil	Rights	Act.			QP2-DSTS.FLY,3-8/08

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