Dysphagia is the term used to describe a difficulty with chewing and swallowing food, drink and/or saliva. Dysphagia happens when the muscles we use for chewing and swallowing (lips, jaw, tongue, palate and throat muscles) become weak and difficult to move.
Intubation is the insertion of a flexible plastic endotracheal tube (ETT) into your mouth and throat. This is usually placed when you are asleep or unconscious.
There is evidence that shows that by being intubated it can cause;
One or all of the above could last for a few days, a few months or more permanently. There are a lot of factors that contribute to this. Your medical team and speech therapist will
advise you further on this.
All of the above can contribute to difficulties with eating, drinking and swallowing, this can
include swallowing your own saliva.
Aspiration is the medical name for saliva, food and drink that ‘goes down the wrong way’. If aspiration occurs regularly it can cause an aspiration pneumonia—this is a very nasty chest infection and can make people very unwell.
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