DiagnosTEX March 2017 Newsletter


Happy St. Patrick’s Day

“May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow

and may trouble avoid you wherever you go

may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship

and never in want.”


Fun Facts about March:

    • It is the first month of Spring which begins between March 19-21.
    • In the Southern Hemisphere, March is the same as September in the Northern Hemisphere.
    • Each year March and June end on the same day of the week.
    • It is the time of year when animals start to wake up from hibernation.
    • March Madness is a basketball tournament played by the NCAA.
    • Easter is sometimes celebrated in March.
    • Birthstone: aquamarine and bloodstone.
    • March 6, 1836 – Fort Alamo fell to Mexican troops led by General Santa Anna.
    • March 15 – Swallowing Awareness DayTSHA – So good to see everyone that was at TSHA! Thanks for stopping by the Ampcare booth and also the TSHA Medical Committee happy hour! Fun to mingle and spend some quality time outside of work! If you did not get the Conference Cost of $25.00 for the Above and Beyond Booklet and/or $35.00 for the “What You Can Not See at Bedside DVD, we will honor it through March 3rd. Call and get yours TODAY!


    March is Brain Injury Awareness Month – By the year 2020, TBI is expected to be the number one health problems in the world. The CDC currently estimates 5.3 million Americans currently have long term need for help performing ADL’s as a result of their TBI. In Texas, close to 150K people sustain TBI each year, and this does not account for those who went to ER and were released or those who never went to ER. TBI hospitalization totals are approximately 1.8 billion each year and only 5% of the survivors receive the rehab they need.  In Texas there is no TBI Medicaid waiver to support long term needs. Advocacy efforts can help by contacting area government representatives and asking that funding be made available to acquired brain injury survivors.


    In-network for Insurance to cover MBSS – We are excited about 2017 because, we are working very hard at getting in network this year with several of the insurance companies.  If we have been unable to take a lot of your patients insurance last year, we will this year!  It will take a couple of months to do this, but do not give up on us!  We will hopefully be in network with MANY of them by Spring!



    Upcoming CEU courses in March -May

    Dysphagia Research Society – Portland, Oregon      March 2-4th

    Critical Thinking in Dysphagia Management – Boston, Mass      April 29-30th

    Voice Swallow and Airway Conference – May 5-7th

    DiagnosTEX will host a Spring CEU course in Hurst, on Work Ethics and Dysphagia. Date to be announced!


    Ampcare will be busy training ESP in following areas, find one near you:

    Houston, Texas                                                         Saturday, March 4th

    Kowloon, Hong Kong                                                 Sunday, March 12th

    Arlington, Texas                                                         Saturday, March 25th

    Austin, Texas                                                             Friday, March 31st

    Phoenix, Arizona                                                        Friday, April 7th

    Register for these Ampcare courses at www.ampcarellc.com


    Diets for Dysphagia  The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and ASHA together announce their support of a new global initiative to standardize diets for dysphagia on January 31, 2017.


    Dysphagia Tidbit – Pitt researcher receives NSF CAREER Award to develop improved screening method for dysphagiaDysphagia, or swallowing disorders, affects nearly one in 25 adults, especially the elderly and those who have suffered a stroke or neurological disease, and results in approximately 150,000 hospitalizations annually. A patient’s risk for dysphagia is first diagnosed by screening, and may require an endoscopy or fluoroscopy for further evaluation. However, some patients who aspirate do so silently, causing doctors to misdiagnose. To develop an improved screening method for dysphagia, the National Science Foundation awarded a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering a CAREER Award through the NSF’s Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems. Ervin Sejdic, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, received a five-year, $549,139 award to further research using high-resolution vibration and sound recordings that would help doctors diagnose dysphagia and assist patients in improving how to properly swallow while eating or drinking. Dr. Sejdic, who began this research while a postdoctoral associate at the University of Toronto and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital, explained that an improved, non-invasive method to detect dysphagia could help to reduce patient risk and hospitalization.” By using modern data analytics we can compare and contrast the sound and vibrations of normal swallowing against patients with dysphagia,” Dr. Sejdic explained. “This allows us to understand how the airway normally protects itself during swallowing to avoid aspiration, and how this is affected during dysphagia, without the need for surgery or intubation.” According to Dr. Sejdic, patients with silent dysphagia may pass a traditional screening, which increases the potential for choking and suffocation. Analyzing the sounds and vibrations from the neck would not only reduce the incidence of silent aspiration, but also the need for conservative recommendations that limit eating and drinking for individuals with neurological disabilities such as multiple sclerosis or ALS. In addition to developing the technology, the award will allow Dr. Sejdic to collaborate with speech language pathologists to develop an online learning module to further education and outreach throughout the U.S. He would also like to utilize the data analysis to design a mobile device that would help patients while eating, but notes that possibility is several years in the future. “Endoscopy and fluoroscopy are still the gold standard for detecting dysphagia,” Dr. Sejdic said. “For now we’re not looking at replacing them but rather enhancing and improving the screening process.” News Medical Life Science, February 14, 2017.