This 80-year-old woman experienced severe debility following hospitalization for COVID-19 with pneumonia. She was referred to a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation services including speech therapy to address poor voice quality, and difficulty breathing while eating. She also required 3 liters per minute of supplemental oxygen. Prior to hospitalization, she had no limitations in speaking and eating.
Patient Information: Female, Age 78
Diagnosis: Oral Cancer / Dysarthria / Oropharyngeal Dysphagia
History: This woman, a long-term care resident of a skilled nursing facility, has a history of oral cancer four years ago. At that time, she underwent removal of 50% of her tongue, tissue grafting for her palate, and has resultant decreased jaw movement, oropharyngeal dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), and dysarthria (difficulty with speech production). Additionally, she underwent a tracheostomy (tube inserted into the trachea to assist with breathing) and a feeding tube was placed to provide nutrition due to her inability to eat and drink by mouth. She has received intermittent speech-language pathology services over the four years. Prior to her cancer, this woman had no limitations in eating, drinking, and speaking.