June 2019 Newsletter

Happy Father’s Day to all the DADs!

Do not forget to fly your American flag on the 14th in honor of our country, our troops, and our freedom!

Flag Day falls within National Flag Week, a time when Americans reflect on the foundations of the nation’s freedom. The flag of the United States represents freedom and has been an enduring symbol of the country’s ideals since its early days. During both events, Americans also remember their loyalty to the nation, reaffirm their belief in liberty and justice, and observe the nation’s unity. Although Flag Day is a nationwide observance, it is not a public holiday in many parts of the United States. It is a legal holiday in a few areas in the USA, such as Montour County in Pennsylvania.

June is Dysphagia Awareness Month 

Don’t forget to spread the news throughout social media and use #dysphagiaawareness so all can be aware of this debilitating disorder. How are you helping recognize dysphagia awareness month? The best way to celebrate this month is to educate!

Follow DiagnosTEX on Facebook and Twitter

This month DiagnosTEX is handing out a new educational sheet on Dysphagia for patients and families in recognition of Dysphagia Awareness Month - Get your copy next time we see you! Other handouts, booklets and DVD’s can be found at the Store and on the Clinical Café on our website www.dysphagiadiagnostex.com.

ABOVE and BEYOND by Ronda Polansky M.S. CCC-SLP - Patient, Caregiver, and Healthcare Professional Educational Reference Sheets and Handouts for Effective Dysphagia Rehabilitation.  Over 30 handouts on specific disorders in dysphagia in ONE location to use in your practice, plus a resource section for SLP’s on cranial nerve testing, pharyngeal exercises, and treatment techniques. A need-to-have-booklet in your therapy bag!! Cost: $40.00. (plus S&H). Discounted to $30.00 for MBSH Month. Call us or order online and we will get one out to you!

DVD – What You Can Not See at Bedside - Copies of MBSS studies for the education of staff and families on various disorders and clear episodes of penetrations and aspirations. Cost - $40.00 (plus S & H). Discounted to $30.00 for MBSH Month. A great educational tool for anyone!  This is the same videos we presented at TSHA. Call us or order online and we will get one out to you!

An SLP Should NEVER Lose Their Voice - Advocate for Proper Dysphagia Evaluations - Material to assist in educating Physicians, Administrators, Nurses and other Medical Professionals on Dysphagia and MBSS. Cost $30.00. Call us or order online and we will get one out to you!

Saying Goodbye is always hard

We are very sad to tell you that Beverly has resigned from DiagnosTEX to move to East Texas.  We will miss her terribly as we know you will as well, she has been a part of our DiagnosTEX family a long time.  We wish her the best in her new town and her new home. Thank you to all of those who called in to say good-bye and posted comments on FB, you made her feel special.  Karen and Lisa will both still be here and will be your contacts for any scheduling issues. You can email Karen at Karen@diagnostex.us or Lisa at Lisa@diagnostex.us.

Lots of PDPM Questions – We have received LOTS and LOTS of questions regarding the new upcoming changes with PDPM, the final update will not be until October, yet we are finding there are already MANY misconceptions being taught on this in the field. There is a new FB site called PDPM Resources for SLPs, join this group to get some of your questions answered!

New Look to the DiagnosTEX MBSS SLP Report – You will see a few new changes on our SLP report, one of them including an IDDSI classification to the diet recommendation.  We hope this is helpful for those who are using this in their facilities.

More DiagnosTEX QA results are in! GREAT STATS!!

Of the 452 patients seen in October, 293 (65%) were appropriate for strategy usage/compliance. The implementation of such techniques afforded the patients a less restrictive diet/liquid than could otherwise have been determined.  Strategies were not tried on some due to a few extraneous factors(cervical collar, no strategy appropriate for pathology, pt not “appearing” appropriate during MBSS, etc.  


RIGHT Head Turn




LEFT Head Turn




Alternate Liquid/Solid




3 Second Hold




Supraglottic Swallow




Strategy Used During MBSS

# of attempts

% of total attempted

October 2018

Chin Tuck




Month, Year

Total number of studies strategies were attempted

Number of studies strategies were effective

Percentage of efficacy

October 2018





As referenced above, strategies are not appropriate for every patient evaluated by MBSS. Limitations can occur not only for anatomical/physiological reasons but more often than not, stable cognition is required for consistent implementation of the strategy. If the technique determined by MBSS to alter the bolus in a safe and effective manner is not utilized 100% during PO, the previous dysphagia resumes and the patient is at significant risk for aspiration. To be effective in increasing swallow safety, strategies must be utilized for every swallow in which PO occurs and generally, this responsibility lies on the patient, therefore requiring commitment, strong cognitive status, and memory skills.

Dysphagia Tidbit – Laryngeal Cancer

This year, an estimated 12,410 adults (9,860 men and 2,550 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with laryngeal cancer. Each year, an estimated 3,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with hypopharyngeal cancer. Estimates of dysphagia is a total laryngectomy population range from 17%-70%, due to oral stage deficits due to hyoid bone resection and altered anatomy of the neopharynx as well as esophageal stage deficits, which can only be examined with the MBSS.  Although technically a patient cannot aspirate because there is a separation of the airway from the esophagus. These are things we assess for in both lateral and AP: stricture or stenosis, pseudoepiglottis or pseudodiverticulum, pharyngeal esophageal abnormalities, fistula.  Don’t guess, test!