Post-extubation dysphagia is associated with longer hospitalization in survivors of critical illness with neurologic impairment.

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Post-extubation dysphagia is associated with longer hospitalization in survivors of critical illness with neurologic impairment.

Crit Care. 2013 Jun 20;17(3):R119

Authors: Macht M, King CJ, Wimbish T, Clark BJ, Benson AB, Burnham EL, Williams A, Moss M

INTRODUCTION: Critically ill patients can develop acute respiratory failure requiring endotracheal intubation. Swallowing dysfunction after liberation from mechanical ventilation, also known as post-extubation dysphagia, is common and deleterious among patients without neurologic disease. However, the risk factors associated with the development of post-extubation dysphagia, and its effect on hospital length-of-stay in critically ill patients with neurologic disorders remains relatively unexplored.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective, observational cohort study from 2008 to 2010 of patients with neurologic impairment who required mechanical ventilation and subsequently received a bedside swallow evaluation (BSE) by a speech-language pathologist.
RESULTS: A BSE was performed after mechanical ventilation in 25% (630/2484) of all patients. In the 184 patients with neurologic impairment, post-extubation dysphagia was present in 93% (171/184), and was classified as mild, moderate, or severe in 34% (62/184), 26% (48/184), and 33% (61/184) respectively. In univariate analyses, statistically significant risk factors for moderate/severe dysphagia included longer durations of mechanical ventilation and the presence of a tracheostomy. In multivariate analysis, adjusting for age, tracheostomy, cerebrovascular disease, and severity of illness, mechanical ventilation for greater than 7 days remained independently associated with moderate/severe dysphagia (adjusted odds ratio 4.48 [2.14-9.81], p <0.01). The presence of moderate/severe dysphagia was also significantly associated with prolonged hospital length-of-stay, discharge status, and surgical placement of feeding tubes. When adjusting for age, severity of illness, and tracheostomy, patients with moderate/severe dysphagia stayed in the hospital 4.32 days longer after their initial BSE than patients with none/mild dysphagia (95% confidence interval 3.04 to 5.60 days, p<0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: In a cohort of critically ill patients with neurologic impairment, longer duration of mechanical ventilation is independently associated with post-extubation dysphagia, and the development of post-extubation dysphagia is independently associated with a longer hospital length of stay after the initial BSE.

PMID: 23786755 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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