Speech pathologists now visiting skilled nursing homes

Speech pathologists now visiting skilled nursing homes

pathologist performing fees evaluation on patient
To perform the FEES test, a Christiana Care speech language pathologist passes an endoscope through the nasal passage into the patient's throat. A camera and light source attached to the scope allow a clear view of the larynx and anatomical structures.

When patients living in skilled-nursing facilities have a medical appointment off-site, there is usually more to consider than heading out the door with the car keys. The patient, staff and family must weigh the need for the test against the health risks, caregiver availability and transportation needs.

Now, ventilator- and tracheotomy-dependent patients, and other high risk patients experiencing swallowing difficulties can get a fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) test to assess pharyngeal-stage swallowing difficulty, administered on-site by a Christiana Care speech pathologist.

FEES is relatively new compared to traditional video swallow studies. Because the test does not use radiation, it costs less than video swallow studies that must be interpreted by a radiologist. The test provides immediate feedback. It also provides the option of performing extended studies to determine what factors are impacting the patient’s swallowing ability, which is not available using  traditional swallow studies because of radiation exposure.

To learn more about FEES, contact Christiana Care Rehabilitation Services Speech Pathology Department at 302-428-6920 or 302-623-4050.