March 2021 Newsletter
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
An Irish Blessing for you:
May you always find blue skies above your head, shamrocks beneath your feet, laughter and joy aplenty, kindness from all you meet, good friends and kin to miss you if you ever choose to roam and a path that’s been cleared by angels themselves to carry you safely home
Personal Note: Reality is a Function of Perspective (ASHA Leader, 2021). I authored this article on the effects of the 2020 facility lockdown on my family and it triggered many emotions with many people having either had a similar personal experience or having recognized the importance of the rather simple concept often overlooked. I just want to take a moment to say how much I appreciated every single person who reached out to me from all over the US, sharing your story with me or just recognizing mine. My mom passed away from the horrific grips of Alzheimer’s recently, but our story happens every day in so many places across the world. The message is simple yet such an important topic to be discussed still in 2021. Those who care for patients and families need to realize, that you cannot change the circumstances, but you can change your perspective and, in that moment, you could change someone’s day. Whether it is returning phone calls/texts from family members or stepping outside the door to speak to them, it is our job to serve in that capacity. Taking care of a patient means including their family, always. Perspective is not only what you look at but also where you are looking from.
It’s not Live….its Virtual
DRS annual convention is from March 9-12
Ampcare will have a virtual exhibit up on DRS at: https://www.dysphagiaresearch.org/page/VEH-Ampcare .
March 17 is Swallowing Awareness Day - This is the perfect month to educate on proper instrumental evaluations. This is needed more this year than ever! The greatest challenge in the pandemic is the invisible one: How do we help people who are afraid to seek care to begin with or those overlooked? Head injuries, strokes, Parkinson’s disease, ALS did not go away. Dysphagia treatment is just as important in 2021 as it was before 2020. All patients deserve all of the options available to them for treatment success. Our new advocacy book and more is just what you need, available for purchase in the store on our website www.dysphagiadiagnostex.com.
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 Modified Barium Swallow Studies
Ampcare's Online Dysphagia Training - Don’t forget about Ampcare's Online Dysphagia Training. Whether it's for continuing education for ASHA credit or for investigating how Ampcare's ESP is providing better and faster clinical outcomes. For all licensed SLPs, (8 hours of advanced ASHA CE). Discount code: Ampcare Cares $50 off
Ampcare Virtual CEs
- March 9-10 – UK hybrid
- March 25 & 26
- April 22 & 23
- May 5 & 6
- May 15 (limited seating)
We all need to work together to improve outcomes for individuals who have dysphagia by diagnosing and treating them properly as well as creating safer swallowing environments for them. The statistics show those affected by dysphagia include:
- 95% of people with Motor Neuron Disease;
- 68% of people with dementia in long term care or memory care
- 65% of people who have had a CVA/stroke
- 50% of people with Parkinson’s Disease;
- 33% of people with multiple sclerosis.
And now a new population of recovering COVID patients with postintubation dysphagia. The most common symptom of COVID-19 in critically ill patients is ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome). Many patients who recover from ARDS having persistent dysphagia symptoms 6 months after discharge. Respiration and swallowing display an intricate relationship, with both systems sharing neurologic, physiologic, structural, and functional interdependence. It is urged in literature that medical and rehabilitation professionals consider dysphagia a prognostic complication, provide appropriate referrals, and initiate early interventions as appropriate.
Swallowing is important to everyday life just like breathing. Last year the Swallowing Awareness Day campaign reached around 4.5 million people on social media in over 30 nations around the world, including Uganda, Australia, Canada and the US. We hope that even more people will get involved with the campaign this year! Do your part, we are ESSENTIAL in this fight!
DiagnosTEX MBSS DVD’s – As with the rest of the world, 2020 resulted in some hardships for small business, DiagnosTEX was not excluded from that group of small business. Although we continued to operate and see patients, many business decisions and adjustments were required as referrals dropped. One of these adjustments was our policy on copies of MBSS on DVDs. Sadly, there has been reduced and limited communication with the facility healthcare staff when we are there. There is less face-to-face interaction. Since we are no longer entering the facilities and we are not allowing observers on the van, we have been required to leave the medical records (reports and DVD) with front desk personnel. We have had numerous calls of lost reports and DVDs since we started doing this. Due to this unfortunate lack of consistent contact, HIPAA issues, not being able to hand off medical records directly to treating staff, lost reports/DVDs within the facility, and our time and cost for duplicates, we will not be handing out DVDs at every stop. The DiagnosTEX staff will ask the treating SLP if they would like a copy of the DVD, if they say “yes”, we will provide one. If they say “no” or we are unable to make contact with anyone, we will not be leaving a DVD. If the DVD is requested on a different date, there will be a cost of $10.00 for the S & H as well as our time to pull the DVD and make copies. We, like you, miss the comfortable norm of 2019, but until things change again, we must make some temporary adjustments. We appreciate your understanding of this.
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month - 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. Check out some local sources such as BIND. Based on the standards used in Clubhouse International programs for mental health recovery, BIND is a Brain Injury Clubhouse located in Texas. BIND empowers Members to maximize strengths while developing strategies to assist with meeting personal goals for community reintegration. www.thebind.org