Clinical Evaluation
This site contains the following pages related to dysphagia evaluation:

A proper clinical diagnosis and long term monitoring of dysphagia is critical for sufferers of COPD. It is unknown if aspiration causes exasperation of COPD or if exasperated COPD causes aspiration; either way, exasperations of the disease pose a significant risk to the client’s swallowing safety (Groher & Crary, 2010). Good-Fratelli et al. (2000), discovered the frequent occurrence of laryngeal penetration and aspiration in COPD sufferers even when dysphagia was not suspected (Good-Fratelli, 2000). Therefore, this population demands special considerations for their need for referral for swallowing evaluations (Op.cit).

Ascertaining the safety of a client’s swallow is gauged through a series of steps taken by the clinicians. The precise nature of these steps may be specified by individual institutions and/or Speech-Language Therapists. The purpose of this site is to provide the clinician with information as well as a framework whereby they can learn about the assessment process of dysphagia as it pertains to the COPD population. The American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) official policy is that the clinical examination to include: a) a case history, b) a review of medical records, c) physical examination with a judgments of adequacy of airway protection and coordination of respiration and swallowing, d) oral trials and e) may include tools and techniques such as pulse oximetry and cervical auscultations to detect and monitor clinical signs of dysphagia (ASHA, 1997).