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J Gerontol Nurs. 1990 Apr;16(4):6-9.

When it's hard to swallow. Feeding techniques for dysphagia management.


There are three phases of swallowing: oral, where the food is chewed; pharyngeal, where the bolus begins to move downward; and esophageal, where the bolus enters the esophagus. Signs of difficulty in swallowing may include difficulty initiating the swallow, packing food into cheeks, drooling, cough after a swallow or absent or weak cough, or fluid leaking from the nose after swallowing. Take your time when feeding patients and do not wash food down with liquids. Also, remember to position the patient properly and teach both the patient and his family effective feeding techniques.

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