Comparison of Dysphagics and Nondysphagics on Pulse Oximetry during Oral Feeding
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This study was designed to determine whether significant differences in SpO2 levels existed among elderly individuals with dysphagia, and, more specifically, whether pulse oximetry can discriminate dysphagic from nondysphagic individuals. In addition, differences in SpO2 between liquid aspirators, solid aspirators, laryngeal penetrators, and normals was investigated in a sample of 181 subjects, 104 of whom were dysphagic. Results indicated that aspirators had lower SpO2 levels before, during, and after feeding compared with nonaspirators. Solid aspirators were the most compromised. No relation was found between SpO2 levels and aspiration. Pulse levels rose for all subjects from before to during feeding, declining slightly thereafter. These data were consistent with previous findings that dysphagics have compromised pulmonary systems but at variance with studies that indicated changes in pulse oximetry during aspiration.
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