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Aspiration - Risks, Recognition, and Prevention

Author: Dana Bartlett, RN, BSN, MSN, MA, CSPI and Susan DePasquale, MSN, FPMHNP-BC

CE: 2.5 hours
Rated 4.7 out of 5.0 based on 6732 reviews

Course Summary

Both national safety and health facility protocol guide clinical practice in the area of aspiration risk precaution and treatment. Multiple factors influence the potential for aspiration risk and complications stemming from silent aspiration and major aspiration episodes. Patient care interventions in acute care and long-term settings involve recognizing the potential for aspiration and implementing preventive and timely treatment measures when an issue of aspiration occurs, such as aspiration pneumonia and its sequelae.

Course Format


Course Syllabus

I.       Introduction
II.      Pathophysiology, Etiology and Prevalence
1.            Prevalence
III.     Gastrointestinal Tract and Aspiration
1.            Oral Cavity
2.            Pharynx
3.            Esophagus
IV.     Swallowing and Aspiration
             1.            Oral Phase
             2.            Pharyngeal Phase
             3.            Esophageal Phase
V.      Dysphagia
VI.     Reflexes and Aspiration
1.            Cough Reflex
2.            Gag Reflex
3.            Expiration Reflex
4.            Esophagoglottic Closure Reflex
5.            Laryngeal Adductor Reflex
6.            Pharyngoglottal Reflex
VII.    Causes of Aspiration
VIII.   Outcomes and Complications of Aspiration
1.            Aspiration Pneumonia
IX.     Aspiration Pneumonitis
X.      Aspiration Prevention
1.            Screening for Aspiration
2.            Aspiration Prevention Interventions
3.            Positioning
4.            Digestive Tract Decontamination
5.            Stress Ulcer Prophylaxis
6.            Gastric Volume Measuring
7.            Subglottic Drainage
8.            Minimizing Sedation
XI.     Case Studies: Pediatric Aspiration
1.            Case Study 1: Five Year Old Male
2.            Case Study 2: 18 Month Old Female
XII.         Summary


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