Safe Swallowing

Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) can cause far-reaching difficulties for patients, including:

  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Aspiration potentially leading to aspiration pneumonia
  • Failure to thrive

Patients with swallowing difficulty from neurological or physiological changes benefit from comprehensive dysphagia evaluation and treatment.  Services include clinical swallow evaluations with recommendations and instruction for applicable diet modifications. 

Modified barium swallow studies can be performed to objectively assess a patient's swallow function.  Results aid physicians, speech pathologists, and patients in determining direction for additional treatment or the need for other referrals (e.g., Zenker's Diverticulum or difficult to resolve pneumonias).

Safe swallowing services include evaluation and prevention strategies for patients reporting:

  • Mild difficulties like rapid eating and drinking
  • Poor positioning
  • Drooling
  • Occasionally coughing during a meal
  • Dealing with mild reflux 

These services are especially useful for patients with progressive diseases to maintain safety and adequacy of oral nutrition before issues become critical. 

Periodic, ongoing professional services can support patients and families members, while increasing the likelihood of the patient maintaining oral nutrition.


Referral

  • Talk with your health care provider about a referral to EvergreenHealth Outpatient Rehabilitation Services
  • Call us directly at 425.899.1960 

Ask your provider to complete and sign our referral form.