Newsletter :: May 2006


Monthly Motivator:


Commit to quality service, meeting or exceeding the needs of those who count on our availability and skills. Treat every patient as if the world revolves around them, because it does.

Celebrate May Better Speech and Hearing Month Visit the Shoppe TSHA at for merchandise and grab bag ideas. Also check out ASHA resources at It is a good month to educate!

SLP Give-Aways In acknowledgment of May Better Speech and Hearing Month, the new handout is a handout you can use to educate you patients and their families on Speech Pathology and our role in treating Dysphagia. Also do not forget your SLP FUEL drinking cup! This is our MBSH Month gift to all of you hard working Speech Pathologists who keep us busy as well! Thank you

May Holiday – DiagnosTEX will observe Memorial Day on Monday, May 29th. Please keep this in mind when scheduling your MBSS around that time. Thank you. We have veterans working for DiagnosTEX and we honor them as well as those who have sacrificed for our freedom!

Recommendation of “SMALL SIPS” with the PROVALE Cup DiagnosTEX made friends with the Provale Cup and their Rep. This cup provides 1- 2 tsp of liquid and can be used with water, nutritional and thickened products. Easy cleaning, dishwasher safe: no tubes or valves to clean. The cup delivers the 5cc and 10 cc bolus sizes with each drinking motion. We will be carrying brochures and samples on the vans and DiagnosTEX can help you get this product at a discounted rates. To order call: 800-757-7579 and tell them your referral source is DiagnosTEX. If you have any problems please let us know. Review the product online at

New History/Dysphagia consult forms! Wow, your awesome! You all have done such a great job on getting the forms completed as we have needed! THANK YOU SO MUCH! P.S. please make sure the orders are dated. Also if you can fax us the order once the physician had signed it you would eliminate us coming back to you for it at a later time.

Upcoming Summer Conferences

Dysphagia Scene Investigators – Houston, Texas on June 24th.

Modified Barium Swallow Study Workshop – DFW, August 2006.

Mobile MBSS – A life in the day of mobile………………………………………………………..

Obstacles – traffic, construction, train tracks, non working traffic lights, agitated patients, families, and/or nurses (and sometimes agitated SLP’s ha!), Texas weather, getting stuck driving behind Mrs. Daisy who just turned 100 yesterday, maintenance issues, bathroom breaks (yes we go too! J), and sometimes things that we could never have anticipated, etc.

ETA – this is our goal! Often times we call ahead and let you know we are on our way and will be there in “15-20 minutes”, but please allow us a few minutes of flexibility as we never know when we will hit “all the traffic lights, get stopped by a train which stopped right on the cross way, get caught behind construction as they sit along the curb eating lunch, a traffic accident that every one in the vicinity has to rubber neck and/or allow Mrs. Daisy time to make it 2 blocks to her hair appt. J” , etc. Funny, but often very true. It is the nature of this business and the obstacles we always encounter being mobile all day long. Our goal is always to get to get you within 24-48 hours and stay on schedule for everyone involved including our own staff. Often times we arrive at a facility and we are asked to add on’s, maybe one, maybe two or more. Many times we schedule a facility the day before and the next morning we have paperwork for 2 more add on’s for that facility. This causes us to push our schedule back at a minimum of 30 minutes per patient. If you are the facility adding on, it typically does not effect you unless we arrive early to get the others added, but next time if you’re the facility after the add on’s, it will. DiagnosTEX feels every patient and family member is as important as the other, so we do our best to meet everyone’s needs, within reason. Please understand the nature of this business, the complexity of scheduling, and our sincerest 100% effort to get to you on time!

Dysphagia Tidbit – An Aging Swallow

Sarcopenia – age related loss of muscle mass, causes physiological changes in tongue muscle due to an increase in fatty tissue and decrease in muscle fibers.

Natural aging process effecting swallowing:

  1. Reduced tongue driving force and reduced lingual pressure
  2. Masticatory muscles tend to lose tension and strength
  3. Saliva undergoes chemical changes
  4. Osteoporosis of the mandible is as common as osteoporosis of other bones
  5. Decrease in duration of cricopharyngeal opening
  6. Delayed swallow
  7. Epiglottis becomes less pliable and may begin to calcify
  8. Laryngeal muscles tend to sag, a process referred to as laryngeal ptosis. When we try to achieve laryngeal elevation, the larynx has to move further because it is sagging down. The muscles that suspend it are also loosing their muscle tension.
  9. Bone degeneration affecting structures such as the cervical spine – i.e. osteophytes, exaggerated loradotic curve.
  10. Sensory capacity of the laryngopharynx diminishes with age, the larynx may not easily sense when something is about to enter it.
  11. Olfactory reduction – inability to smell contributes to reduction in taste and loss of appetite.

As people age they move away from high-fat and energy-dense foods towards fruits and vegetables, which have less calories and energy. Work with your dietician to provide patients with appropriate sensory supplementation.