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2 Early multidisciplinairy screening of dysphagia at admission to the emergency department – a pilot study
  1. LR Sørensen1,
  2. D Sandager2,
  3. A Jørgensen1,
  4. AB Christensen2,
  5. M Ludwig1,
  6. P Leutscher3,
  7. D Melgaard2,3
  1. 1Department of Emergency Medicine, North Denmark Regional Hospital, Denmark
  2. 2Physio- and Occupational Therapy Department, North Denmark Regional Hospital, Denmark
  3. 3Center for Clinical Research, North Denmark Regional Hospital/Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University, Denmark


Aim Knowledge about effect of early dysphagia screening is limited. The aim of this study is to examine the prevalence of dysphagia in the Emergency Department (ED) population.

Method This study included consecutively hospitalised patients in 10 days from 2 pm–10 pm at the ED of North Denmark Regional Hospital. The screening took place within 2 hours of admission. Inclusion criteria were any of the following: age ≥65 years, neurological disorders, alcoholism, COPD, pneumonia, dyspnoea, diabetes or unexplained weight loss. A nurse screened patients with a water test and with signs of dysphagia tested by an occupational therapist with the V-VST and the MEOF-II.

Results Of 140 eligible patients (56% male, median age 75 years) 95 (68%) were screened. It was impossible to screen 12 patients (9%) to limited time and 30 patients (21%) due to poor health condition and 5 patients (4%) declined participation. The prevalence of dysphagia in the study population was 16% (15 patients). Results from the water test were confirmed with V-VST and MEOF-II. In patients with lung related diseases or circulatory diseases was the prevalence respectively 25% and 24%. Patients, not screened due to poor health condition, were tested during hospitalisation and the prevalence of dysphagia was 75% in this group of patients.

Conclusion The prevalence in ED patients was 16%. Patients transferred to other departments due to poor health condition had prevalence of 75%. It is possible to screen patients in the ED. The water test is a useful screening tool in an acute setting.

Conflict of interest No conflicts of interest

Funding No funding

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