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Year: 2013  Vol. 17   Num. Suppl. 1  - Print:
OROPHARYNGEAL DYSPHAGIA IN INFANTS
Author(s):
Nathlia Anastopulos dos Santos, Fabiola Custdio Flabiano Almeida, Karina Bernadis Bhler, Marlia de Paula Giogertti, Suelly Cecilia Olivan Limongi
Abstract:

INTRODUCTION: Infants with dysphagia are at increased risk of developing lung disease, malnutrition, prolonged hospitalization, and impaired interaction with their caregivers. PURPOSE: To determine the major disorders of the oral and pharyngeal phases of swallowing in the infant; classify dysphagia severity; and investigate the relationship between swallowing disorders and medical diagnoses. METHODS: Retrospective chart review. The study enrolled 17 infants (age range, 6-90 days), who were referred from January 2012 to May 2013 for clinical evaluation and a video fluoroscopic swallow study (VFSS). RESULTS: The major clinical symptoms were cyanosis and oxygen desaturation during feeding; 70.5% of the infants were premature. On VFSS, 23.5% of the infants presented with nasopharyngeal reflux, 41% presented with laryngeal penetration, and 23.5% presented with silent aspiration. No abnormalities were observed in the oral phase. Functional swallow was observed in 47% of the infants. On the Rosenbek scale, 53% of patients presented with degree 1, 23, and 5% of the infants presented with degrees 2 and 8. Intervention comprised thickening and flow rate reduction. These strategies were effective in controlling aspiration during the VFSS. CONCLUSION: Swallowing dysfunction is frequently observed in premature infants. The VFSS provided an objective and systematic method for analyzing infant swallowing and for establishing an appropriate intervention.

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