Author: Kristina Neu
Course Summary
Aspiration events can be sudden and dramatic, and can cause significant complications or even death. Some episodes of aspiration can be very minor and the patient may remain asymptomatic. Common causes of aspiration include stroke, drug or alcohol overdose, dysphagia, neurologic diseases, prolonged vomiting, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). The signs and symptoms of aspiration can significantly vary from one individual to the next. Screening for aspiration is a vital part of preventative patient care and the evaluation of patients for their risk for aspiration should be done during an initial patient assessment and repeated as necessary.
After completing this inservice, the learner will be able to:
  • Identify the definition and causes of aspiration
  • Explain complications associated with aspiration
  • Discuss a health care professional’s role in recognizing and preventing aspiration
Course Syllabus
  • Swallowing and the Gag Reflex
  • Phases of Swallowing
  • Gag and Cough Reflex
  • Causes of Aspiration
  • Signs and Symptoms of Aspiration
  • Prevention of Aspiration
  • Case Study - Aspiration Pneumonia
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