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Self-oral Suctioning

Gale Estes-Waddell, M.A., CCC-SLP

May 2, 2011


Question

Do you encourage the use of self-oral suctioning of patients with decreased salivary management?

Answer

A cognitively intact patient who has been trained and understands how to safely perform self-oral suctioning should be allowed to use it as needed. It can promote a better self-image, quality of life, eating, speaking and overall physical health. A patient who is unable to safely complete self-oral suctioning (e.g. cognitive impairments, physical limitations, etc.) may injure the structures/tissue of the oral/hypopharynx cavities and should not perform self-oral suctioning independently.

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Gale Estes-Waddell, M.A., CCC-sp has over 25 years of experience working with adults and pediatrics in the acute, rehabilitation, outpatient and home health settings. Gale has developed, consulted and managed several interdisciplinary dysphagia programs. She is trained in Neurodevelopmental treatment for adults. Gale has presented nationally on topics of dysphagia and Neurodevelopmental Therapy.