This 53-year-old woman with multiple sclerosis (MS) was admitted to a transitional care unit following hospitalization for aspiration pneumonia with sepsis (life-threatening body response to infection). She had severe weakness and oropharyngeal dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). As a result, she was referred for rehabilitation services including speech therapy to improve her swallow function. This woman has a history of dysphagia with swallowing treatments due to her MS diagnosis, but prior to hospitalization she consumed a regular diet with thin liquids.
Speech Therapy: (3x/week x 3 weeks)
OmniVersa® Ultrasound/Electrotherapy System
• Patterned Electrical Neuromuscular Stimulation (PENS) head and neck protocol to increase swallow function and timing.
• Oropharyngeal strengthening/timing exercises, compensatory swallow strategies to increase airway protection, and diet modification.
I never knew you could use e-stim on your swallowing muscles. I am so excited to learn of this new treatment.
This woman and her husband are thrilled about her accomplishments in therapy! She credits electrical stimulation for improving the function of her oropharyngeal muscles for swallowing. She is so excited to have achieved her goal of drinking thin lemonade! She can now go home and make her favorite meal of corn on the cob with ice cold lemonade!