Neurological Question #30
A client with dysphagia is at risk for aspiration. Which of the following instructions by the nurse is most important in helping with dysphagia after a stroke?
- Provide thin liquids until swallowing improves.
- Feed the client in bed until mobility improves.
- Assist with meals and maintain client in an upright position.
- Spoon feed all meals to ensure the client can get enough nutrition.
The client should be in the upright position to avoid aspiration during and after meals. Selection B is incorrect because after a stroke with dysphasia, the client may have increased risk of choking and aspirating with thin liquids. Liquids should therefore be thickened to avoid aspiration. Feeding the client in bed limits client participation in daily activities, and the client should join others for meals if possible. Keeping client in the bed may affect circulation, skin integrity, and psychosocial well being. Spoon-feeding is detrimental to self dignity and the client should be encouraged to feed self and perform as many tasks as possible using the unaffected side.