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J Neurosci Nurs. 1994 Apr;26(2):78-84.

Dysphagia in the elderly stroke patient.

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Ohio State University Hospitals, Columbus 43201.


Of all strokes 75% occur in people over age 65, and the incidence of stroke rises with age. Because swallowing problems often result, the elderly stroke patient is at risk for dysphagia and its complications. Acute and chronic swallowing problems are associated with many complications including dehydration, malnutrition, aspiration, pneumonitis, depression and even death. These complications make swallowing problems in the aged stroke patient an important focus for nursing attention. Nurses must be aware of the complexity of normal swallowing mechanisms, knowledgeable about the aged stroke patient's risk for dysphagia, aware of the importance of early detection and treatment of dysphagia and confident about their role in dysphagia assessment and treatment regimen. This information can be used in the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of the elderly dysphagic stroke patient.

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