Course Summary

Both national safety and health facility protocols guide clinical practice in the area of aspiration risk precaution and treatment. Multiple factors influence the risk for aspiration risk and aspiration complications. Interventions in acute care and long-term settings include preventing aspiration, knowing factors that put a patient at risk for aspiration, and prompt recognition and treatment of aspiration.

Course Format


Course Syllabus

  1. Introduction
  1. Pathophysiology, Etiology, and Prevalence


  1. Gastrointestinal Tract and Aspiration
  1. Oral Cavity
  2. Pharynx
  3. Esophagus
  1. Swallowing and Aspiration

Oral, Pharyngeal, and Esophageal Phases

  1. Dysphagia
  1. Reflexes and Aspiration
  1. Cough Reflex
  2. Gag Reflex
  3. Expiration Reflex
  4. Esophago-glottal, Laryngeal, and Pharyngo-glottal Reflexes
  1. Causes of Aspiration
  1. Outcomes and Complications of Aspiration
  1. Aspiration Pneumonia
  2. Aspiration Pneumonitis and ARDS
  1. Screening and Prevention Strategies
  1. Screening for Aspiration
  2. Aspiration Prevention Interventions
  1. Case Studies: Pediatric Aspiration
  1. Case Study 1: Foreign Body Aspiration with Pneumonitis/ARDS
  2. Case Study 2: 18-Month-Old Female
  1. Summary


Dana Bartlett, RN, BSN, MSN, MA, CSPI

Dana Bartlett is a professional nurse and author. His clinical experience includes 16 years of ICU and ER experience and over 27 years as a poison control center information specialist. Dana has published numerous CE and journal articles, written NCLEX material, textbook chapters, and more than 100 online CE articles, and done editing and reviewing for publishers such as Elsevier, Lippincott, and Thieme. He has written widely on the subject of toxicology and was a contributing editor, toxicology section, for Critical Care Nurse journal. He is currently employed at the Connecticut Poison Control Center. He lives in Wappingers Falls, NY.

Susan Depasquale, MA, MSN, PMHNP-BC

Susan DePasquale is a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Her current practice is with families, youth and adults who have mental illnesses in both inpatient and outpatient settings, including telepsychiatry for Montana, Washington and Wisconsin communities. She completed her Masters of Art in Political Science at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Masters of Science in Nursing at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Washington with a focus in neurogastroenterology and the Post-Masters of Science in Nursing at the Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana with a focus in psychiatry. She has worked with small and rural healthcare teams in British Columbia and the Northwest Territories, Canada, and in teaching and research hospitals such as Providence Health and Virginia Mason Medical Center Digestive and Liver Disease Departments in Seattle. Since 2012, she has been actively involved in online continuing education program development for nurses and health teams.

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