By Heather Bjernudd, Therapy Resource, South Carolina
Our speech therapists at Millennium Post Acute Rehab in West Columbia, South Carolina, are incredible! When this facility started taking ventilator-dependent patients this year, these ladies jumped in and have had incredible results.
Here is a highlight on a current patient: 32-year-old male admitted with severe trauma, left hemi craniotomy that affected all function and ventilator-dependent. Swallow response was absent; silently aspirating, NPO, PEG; mild/moderate aphasia with decreased ability to communicate via trach. Cognition impaired, BIMS score of 7. Forty days since admission. Patient able to tolerate Passy Muir Valve up to five hours at a time. Swallow trials with ice chips showing improvement, improved swallow initiation and laryngeal function. Patient is able to follow multi-step directions for swallowing maneuvers and functional tasks. Able to complete diaphragmatic breathing exercises with min assists. Patient has been weaned off of the ventilator and has a real possibility of being weaned off of the trach.