March 2009 Newsletter


March 2009
    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!
Clinical Café Newsletter
By: Ronda Polansky M.S. CCC-SLP

Monthly Motivator
The best way to predict the future is create it!

Dysphagia Research Society 2009 is in New Orleans, Louisiana March 5-7

TSHA annual convention is in Austin this year April 2-4, Pam and I will be there all 3 days, hope to see some of you there! I will be giving a talk to students on various job sites and also a product promotion session on E-Stim, be looking for it and come see us!
Upcoming April Conference – I will be doing an “EAT AND MEET” mid day Friday conference in Corsicana, Texas on April 24th from 10:30-3pm. Lunch provided!  The conference will be “Strategize with Strategy’s”  Professional Imaging has invited me to do this, so if you are interested in attending, please call them at

Visit the DiagnosTEX Website!  Check it out!  –  On the DiagnosTEX website you can find out about us! Check on conferences, newsletters, required scheduling paperwork, email us, see MBSS videos, shop our bookstore, download our SLP handouts, and so much more to come!

Thank you for the feedback!!
We have had some calls recently from DOR’s, Administrators, and SLP’s complimenting our services, detailed reports, and the above and beyond efforts of our techs.  I just wanted to say “THANK YOU” for this feedback! We love to hear it and want to hear all the good things about our employees if they take that extra time and effort to give you the highest quality service in mobile MBSS!

Dates to Remember in March 2009
24th – American Diabetes Alert Day –
30th –National Doctors Day –
8th-14th – Patient Safety Awareness Week –
17th-21st – Long Term Care Administrators Week –
14-20th – National Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week –
National Social Work Month –
National Women’s History month –


RPD – Restorative Posture Device
We have received some calls on this because many of you have seen us use this on the van to improve neutral head position and allow of adequate pharyngeal space.  At times, this device has made the difference between NPO and PO feeding mostly with liquid and some puree recommendations for the patient.  This is not recommended with MS and solid due to limited ROM to the mandibular area. You can purchase the RPD from Restorative Medical at 800-793-5544. Below you can see it being worn by an individual in Fig. 2.  It can be used with the AMPCARE
E-Stim protocol with exercise only to maximize laryngeal elevation and will also improve electrode conduction to the submandibular area.   Fluoro Fig.1 is without the RPD, poor posture with head forward position.  Fluoro Fig 3. is with the RPD device being worn.


            Fig. 1                                        Fig.2                             Fig. 3

Dysphagia Tidbit – Green Beer for St. Patrick’s Day on a dysphagia diet?
On the mobile clinic we often get requests for beer, whiskey, and other alcoholic beverages in a humorous manner by the patients.  Often when treating dysphagia patients, some have concerns about their consumption of their daily bottle of beer.  Sounds funny, but often true in patients of younger individuals with ALS, Parkinson’s, MS etc. Not being a beer Coinsurer, I had to do some research. Guinness and other “heavy” beers are at best minimally thicker than “typical” beers. For example, an American standard lager such as Budweiser, Coors, etc has a specific gravity between 1.035 and 1.045, while a drystout (of which Guinness is a member) has a specific gravity of 1.036 to 1.055. These beers may seem “thicker” or “heavier” because they have stronger flavors due to darker malts and different hops and a (sometimes) higher alcohol content (Guinness sold in Ireland actually has a low alcohol content due to a high tax rate, so it tastes different in the US).Additionally, Guiness (and some other stouts) use a unique nitrogen based dispension system when served on tap which gives the beer a different mouth feel (Guinness also uses a patented “pub can” to achieve this texture for beer served at home). I have never heard of Guarcol, but in Australian hospitals they commonly use a Guar Gum based product called Guarcol. SLP’s have found it works quite well with most carbonated drinks, including beer.  SLP’s have managed to achieve nectar and honey thicknesses that are quite palatable. This whole beer thing has been quite an interesting discussion.