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Elderly lady enjoying her meal

Mealtime Success: From the Table to the Stomach

From Table to Stomach and Everything in Between: Striving for Mealtime Success Guest Post by: Samantha Shune, PhD, CCC-SLP It is Monday morning. I plop my lunch bag down on my desk and spend the next several hours running in and out of my office paying it no further attention. All of a sudden I realize it is mid-afternoon and I am starving. I automatically reach for the easiest to eat item from the bag. […]

HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer is changing the face of head and neck cancer.

HPV: Changing the Face of Head & Neck Cancer

HPV is Changing the Face of Head and Neck Cancer: An Emerging Epidemic! by Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S of (revised April 25, 2017) Young people who do not smoke do NOT get cancer, right? Wrong. We need to have the talk — about sex and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). HPV is changing everything Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP) and the medical community know about cancer of the mouth and throat (oropharyngeal cancer). A changing […]

Picture of a dolphin laying back allowing a human to brush his teeth with an electric toothbrush.

How To Perform Effective Oral Care (Part IV)

How to Perform Effective Oral Care for Aspiration Pneumonia Prevention by Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, at Only 16% of nurses reported that they brush a patient’s teeth every 4 hours, and 33% reported brushing “rarely or not at all” (Cason, et al, 2007). However, this dolphin is receiving good oral care with an electric toothbrush!   We have explored the many reasons WHY the mouths of critically ill patients need good oral care […]

Picture of rod-shaped Escherichia Coli Bacteria. Commonly found in the lower intestines. However, pathogenic strains take the fecal->oral route of transmission to cause disease.

Take a Trip to the Lungs with 12 Bacterial Species (Part III: Oral Hygiene)

Part III of Oral Hygiene and Aspiration Pneumonia Prevention. By Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S As we are coming and going from our summer vacations, consider the travels that bacteria may take around the body. The germs in the mouth are the same germs that travel to the lungs to cause pneumonia, according to Shay (2014). These bacteria can be found in the hospital or nursing facility environment, on the staff and visitors, and on […]

The changes in soil composition and pH after a volcanic eruption may be analogous to changes in an oral microbiome or ecosystem after illness and infection.

What Do Volcanoes & Mouths Have in Common? (Part II: Oral Microbiome & Saliva)

Part II of Oral Microbiome and Saliva By Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S. I was out in the beautiful pacific northwest the summer of 2014, learning about the region’s flora, fauna, volcanos and glaciers. Especially interesting was visiting Mount Saint Helens in Washington state. After 34 years, the destructive power of the 1980 volcanic eruption is still evident. However, this ecosystem or ecobiome is recovering. The ash-filled pumice plain is finally being recolonized. My […]

Oral Care and Aspiration Pneumonia Prevention

10 Trillion Microorganisms vs Your Toothbrush (Part I: Oral Hygiene)

This blog was inspired by the presentation: “Dental Perspectives on Aspiration Pneumonia Causes and Management” by Kennneth Shay, DDS, MS Dentist and Gerontologist Department of Veterans Affairs: Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care ASHA Healthcare & Business Institute April 12, 2014 “The mouth is dirty,” Dr Kenneth Shay stated frankly at the ASHA Institute, and it’s “the biggest hole in your body!” Warning: You may want to finish eating, brush your teeth, floss, use mouthwash, […]

Picture of our mentor, professor, researcher in the field of swallowing and swallowing disorders (dysphagia)

Today We Grieve the Loss of Dr Jeri Logemann

Today, June 19, 2014, we lost an amazing teacher and an inspiration for many of us in the field of dysphagia and beyond: Dr Jerilyn “Jeri” Logemann, world-renowned professor and researcher in the field of speech-language pathology and dysphagia Dr Logemann was our pioneer for those of us who have dedicated our lives to the study of dysphagia. I owe my life and career to her. Many of us do. She changed Speech-Language Pathology forever […]

7 Clues in Medical Record to Discover Dysphagia

by Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S Inspiration for this blog from: “When the cause of dysphagia is not obvious: Sorting through treasure and surprises in the medical record” by James L. Coyle, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S April 11, 2014 at the ASHA Healthcare & Business Institute Medicine has its uncertainties. This may cause the speech-language pathologist to be very conservative, possibly over-treating or overcompensating, per James Coyle, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S at his talk on April 11, […]

Inferior surface of brain where cranial nerves exit brainstem

Crazy Cranial Nerves and Swallowing

Cranial Nerves and Swallowing / Voice by Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S of The cranial nerves look so beautiful exiting the brainstem in these pictures! Why do they have to be so hard to memorize? It is so important for Speech-Language Pathologists to understand the sensory and motor aspects of cranial nerves and swallowing, speech and voice function. Do you need help studying the cranial nerves at school? Do you need a chart that you […]

Aging and Swallowing: We all have to do it!

Aging and Swallowing: We All have to do it! By Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S of A summary of a talk titled: “Managing Dysphagia in Aging Adults,” at the 2014 ASHA Healthcare & Business Institute, Las Vegas, NV by James L. Coyle, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, ASHA Fellow The field of medical-speech pathology can be tricky, especially when working with aging and swallowing. It differs greatly from traditional rehabilitation practices in our field, per Dr […]

lateral view of head to show oral and pharyngeal phases of swallowing

Speech-Language Pathologist = Deglutologist

Speech-Language Pathologist = Deglutologist by Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S of Every May the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) celebrates May is Better Hearing and Speech month. ASHA and community raise awareness of the wonderful work that Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) and Audiologist do. In addition to working on difficulties in hearing and speech, we need to thank Speech-Language Pathologists for helping infants through geriatrics overcome their language, fluency, voice, cognitive, and swallowing disorders. It is especially […]