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I Can, Take Charge of My Health Education Day: Dysphagia, safe feeding practices

beans-598185_640Dysphagia is the medical term for difficulty or discomfort swallowing when described as a symptom of a disorder. Our Winnipeg office held an education day, and Patrick  Tremblay-Sabourin, RD presented on the topic of dysphagia. Here is an excerpt from his presentation handout on safe feeding practices:

Before the Meal 

  • Do not provide individual with any food or liquid that is not compliant with their diet texture
  • Ensure individual has all adaptive equipment that they might need.
  • Ensure proper positioning: sitting upright with feet and head well supported.
  • The caregiver should be at eye level with the individual, facing in front of, or along side of the individual. Know the individual and use whichever position works best for both the caregiver and individual.

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I Can, Take Charge of My Health Education Day: Dr. Janice

10170263175_da527170b0_kOur Winnipeg office held their I Can, Take Charge of My Health Education Day in March. Dr. Janice Richman Eisenstat, a Pulmonary Rehabilitation Medicine and Palliative Respiratory Care Specialist in Edmonton, was one of the speakers. Dr. Janice as she is known, is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Pulmonary and Neurology Divisions, Department of Medicine at the University of Alberta. Three years ago, she and her colleagues started the first multidisciplinary neuromuscular clinic for adults in North America.

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Tips on the use and care of your non-invasive ventilation interface

Clinician-Fitting-Respironics-Full-Face-Mask-TWTo avoid complications and ensure that your non-invasive ventilation is working efficiently, be sure to take the following steps.

• Clean the interface (mask, nasal pillows or mouthpiece/straw) daily with dish soap and warm water, following the manufacturer’s recommendations. If your interface is not cleaned regularly, you may be exposed to bacteria or viruses and potential infection, and you will shorten the life of the mask.

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Respiratory care for people with neuromuscular disorders

Respironics Full Life Full Face MaskAlthough neuromuscular disorders do not affect the lungs themselves, they can affect the muscles involved in breathing and coughing. As respiratory muscles weaken, it can become difficult to maintain adequate minute ventilation (the amount of air that must move in and out of your lungs in order to inhale enough oxygen and exhale enough carbon dioxide). This, in turn, can result in recurrent chest infections, chronic headaches, ever-present fatigue and increased muscle weakness.

While not everyone with a neuromuscular disorder is at risk of developing breath problems— Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, for instance, mainly affects the lower extremities—someone experiencing breathlessness (a key symptom of breathing impairment) should speak to his or her health-care team to determine the best course of action.

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Strategies to Care for Your Breathing Muscles

There are three main reasons why caring for your breathing – respiratory – muscles is vitally important:

  1. They are needed to facilitate an effective cough
  2. Proper ventilation
  3. Reducing the risk of infection

Below we’ve pin pointed the respiratory therapies discussed in the ‘Strategies to Care for Your Breathing Muscles’ seminar that can be viewed below. Remember that coughing and removing secretions is of the utmost importance, and for more information please watch the playlist, read the Respiratory Care Guide, and speak with your doctor and/or Regional Services person. All of the therapies mentioned can also be found in the Respiratory Care Guide.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTSQ17lauPU&w=560&h=315]

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