Disorders of Swallowing: Palliative Care

Langmore SE, Grillone G, Elackattu A, Walsh M.

Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2009 Feb;42(1):87-105, ix.

Abstract

This article defines palliative care for swallowing disorders as treatment for severe and chronic dysphagia or intractable aspiration when the recovery of normal swallowing is not anticipated and attempts to restore normal swallowing have been unsuccessful. Palliative treatment for dysphagia is not only for the dying patient because patients with difficulty swallowing can live for a long time. Palliative care for dysphagia is aimed at maximizing swallowing function, maintaining pulmonary health, and supporting healthy nutrition despite the impaired ability to swallow. When despite all attempts at intervention a patient becomes totally unable to swallow, the goal of therapy changes toward finding ways to provide adequate nutrition for the patient.

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