Postextubation dysphagia management in Danish intensive care units: A national survey

Anne Højager Nielsen*, Gudrun Kaldan, Lotte Madsen Gade, Ingrid Egerod

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Background: Postextubation dysphagia (PED) is a common complication to endotracheal intubation in critically ill patients and may lead to pneumonia, prolonged ventilation, longer hospital stays, and increased mortality. Recognizing dysphagia is paramount to preventing adverse events. The aim of this study was to describe PED management by investigating practice in Danish intensive care units (ICUs) focusing on current practice in 2023 (screening, prevention, and treatment), perceived best practice (barriers and facilitators), and when possible, to compare practice in 2017 and 2023. Methods: Self-reported, cross-sectional survey of dysphagia practice in Danish ICUs administered from April to May 2023. In addition, data were compared with the 2017 Dysphagia in Intensive Care Evaluation study, when possible. Results: Only half of Danish ICUs reported to have a PED protocol, and less than half routinely screen patients for dysphagia after extubation. Most common screening methods were the oral mechanism examination, water test, and Facio-oral tract therapy. Nurses and physicians often relied on an overall physical assessment of the patient. Best treatment methods were uniformly agreed to be patient positioning, modification of food and fluids, use of ergonomic utensils, and compensatory maneuvers. Key barriers to dysphagia management were lack of specialized staff, under-recognition of dysphagia as a health issue, and lack of standardized protocols. Conclusion: Awareness of PED is increasing and identification, prevention, and treatment is slowly improving, but systematic implementation of protocols for dysphagia screening and treatment could enhance dysphagia management in Danish ICUs.

TidsskriftActa Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica
StatusAccepteret/In press - 2024


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