Neurological Question #46
A client with Parkinson’s disease is observed coughing numerous times while eating breakfast. Which priority action may help with the coughing while eating?
- Offer thickened liquids with each meal.
- Offer clear liquid diet until coughing subsides.
- Administer a cough suppressant if cough is unproductive.
- Explain that swallowing difficulty is a part of the disease and to eat with chin to chest.
Thickening all liquids will help with dysphagia, which is seen in Parkinson’s disease. Thickened liquids will help with risk of aspiration. Offering clear liquids will increase risk of aspiration and minimize nutrition. Administering cough suppressant is not indicated. Swallowing difficulty is certainly a problem with Parkinson’s; however, the most important is thickened fluids. The chin should be only slightly tucked to facilitate swallowing and not all the way to the chest.