I suspect it is too late to help the particular patient, but this perspective might be beneficial to some of my readers.
The scenario: Her husband didn’t pick his foot up high enough when approaching the curb. which resulted in a fall on cement and a broken bone. He is hospitalized. After giving him a swallowing test, the doctor recommended the feeding tube to increase his food consumption, to give him the strength needed to go through therapy
A fellow PwP posted the following in a chat with the caregiver who was seeking a second opinion about the Dr’s recommendation to give her husband a feeding tube (placed through the skin into the stomach) to prevent aspirational pneumonia.
” MDs never speak of potential adverse effects of proposed treatments. In the case of a feeding tube: stanfordhealthcare.org/medi…
“Possible complications associated with a feeding tube include:
• Constipation • Dehydration • Diarrhea • Skin Issues (around the site of your tube)
• Unintentional tears in your intestines (perforation)
• Infection in your abdomen (peritonitis)
• Problems with the feeding tube such as blockages (obstruction) and involuntary movement (displacement)”
incidence of complications is alleged to be low but what is reality? Here is one study of the effect of probiotics on infection. This is the first study I pulled up: mdpi.com/2072-6643/13/2/391
“Differences between the two groups in number of infections (25% intervention group vs. 44% controls), antibiotic therapies (12% vs. 37%)” This was only over a period of 60 days. The number is shockingly high. Trading aspiration pneumonia for peritonitis is not a good trade. Now let us look at prevention of aspiration pneumonia:
General search: scholar.google.com/scholar?…
Prevention of aspiration pneumonia (AP) with oral care: sciencedirect.com/science/a…
AP is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in elderly patients, especially frail elderly patients. The aim of this article is to review effect of oral care, including oral hygiene and improvement of oral function, on the prevention of AP among elderly people in hospitals and nursing homes. There is now a substantial body of work studying the effect of oral care on the prevention of respiratory diseases. Oral hygiene, consisting of oral decontamination and mechanical cleaning by dental professionals, has resulted in significant clinical effects (decreased incidence of pneumonia and decreased mortality from respiratory diseases) in clinical randomized trials. Moreover, studies examining oral colonization by pneumonia pathogens have shown the effect of oral hygiene on eliminating these pathogens. In addition, swallowing training has been shown to improve the movement and function of swallowing-related muscles, also resulting in decreased incidence of pneumonia. These findings support the contention that oral care is effective in the prevention of AP.”
Increased visits to the dental hygienist sure beats a feeding tube.”
My understanding is, when the PwP has his/her swallowing affected, the signal to close the opening into the lungs doesn’t react fast enough to get fully closed. Usually I strangle 0n clear liquids and am able to cough it back out. Occasionally a crumb of toast or some such thing will get in the wrong place triggering a serious coughing fit. So far, I am okay.
When I learned about aspirational pneumonia I was proactive and received a pneumonia vaccination. I have become very mindful about flossing and brushing twice a day. And I get a professional cleaning twice a year.
Trying to cover all my bases.
3 thoughts on “Covering My Bases”
Hi,This is so interesting. It certainly supports the recent newsletter feature on oral hygiene. I probably should follow up ( soon ) in an upcoming newsletter with these specifics from your blog in hopes of driving home the message. Thanks so much for this information. What was the outcome for the patient??? Perhaps in a future blog you could mention the Parkinson Foundation Aware in Care Hospital Kit to better equip folks to be safe when hospitalized. We can talk.ThanksRose
I listen and l watch Cheryl carefully. She has had swallow testing and pneumonia vaccine. Aspirational pneumonia is a serious issue with PD. I think that as long as she is still coughing her body is still responding to food and air being in the right tubes. 😁 Keep coughing! Godspeed to you.
Great tips regrading oral hygiene. You provided the best information which helps us a lot. Thanks for sharing the wonderful information.
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