Virtual Dysphagia Evaluation: Practical Guidelines for Dysphagia Management in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic

, MD, , MS, CCC-SLP, , MD, …First Published May 26, 2020

https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0194599820931791

journals.sagepub.com

Abstract

With encouraging signs of pandemic containment nationwide, the promise of return to a full range of clinical practice is on the horizon. Clinicians are starting to prepare for a transition from limited evaluation of emergent and urgent complaints to resumption of elective surgical procedures and routine office visits within the next few weeks to months. Otolaryngology as a specialty faces unique challenges when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic due to the fact that a comprehensive head and neck examination requires aerosol-generating endoscopic procedures. Since the COVID-19 pandemic is far from being over and the future may hold other highly communicable infectious threats that may require similar precautions, standard approaches to the clinical evaluation of common otolaryngology complaints will have to be modified. In this communication, we present practical recommendations for dysphagia evaluation with modifications to allow a safe and comprehensive assessment.

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