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AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000308961.99857.33
Feature

How to Try This: Preventing Aspiration in Older Adults with Dysphagia

Palmer, Janice L. MS, RN; Metheny, Norma A. PhD, RN, FAAN

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Abstract

Dysphagia, the impairment of any part of the swallowing process, increases the risk of aspiration. Dysphagia and aspiration are associated with the development of aspiration pneumonia. While some changes in swallowing may be a natural result of aging, dysphagia is especially prevalent among older adults with neurologic impairment or dementia, leading to an increased risk of aspiration and aspiration pneumonia. This article discusses best practices for assessment and prevention of aspiration among older adults who are being hand-fed or fed by tube. To view an accompanying online video, go to http://links.lww.com/A226.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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