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Overview of Thickening Liquids in Pediatrics

presented by Sarah Lauridson, MS, CCC-SLP, CNT, CLEC, NTMTC

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Sarah Lauridson receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Nonfinancial: Sarah Lauridson has no competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 67 Minutes, Learning Assessments: 62 Minutes

This course presents current evidence on the effectiveness and risks of using thickened liquids for dysphagia management in pediatrics, with a focus on infants. Clinicians will gain an understanding of foundational knowledge needed for assessment planning and clinical decision-making regarding implementing thickened liquids with pediatric patients. They will also learn about specific thickening agents, liquid flow testing, and other practical tips for various patient care settings. This course is applicable to clinicians assessing and treating dysphagia in pediatrics in any setting.

Meet Your Instructor

Sarah Lauridson, MS, CCC-SLP, CNT, CLEC, NTMTC

Sarah is a pediatric speech-language pathologist who specializes in infant/pediatric feeding and swallowing. She has also been awarded board certification in neonatal therapy (CNT) by the Neonatal Therapy Certification Board and is a certified lactation educator counselor (CLEC). She has extensive experience in assessing and treating complex infant/pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders and has worked…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Rationale for Thickening Liquids

Background information, including an overview of the science of measuring liquid properties, effects on swallow physiology, and therapeutic goals for thickening liquids, is discussed. Evidence for the effectiveness of thickened liquids in pediatrics is presented. Considerations for planning patient assessments are discussed.

2. Thickening Agents

Therapists are presented with information on the ingredients of over-the-counter thickeners and what must be considered when choosing a thickener for specific liquids and age groups. Evidence regarding causes for variability in thickener behavior are discussed to improve therapists' ability to problem-solve for desired results.

3. Potential Risks of Thickening Liquids

Adding thickening agents into an infant’s or child’s diet is not without risks. Potential risks are identified for consideration in treatment planning.

4. Determining Liquid Thickness

It is essential to improving patient outcomes that therapists are able to determine the consistency of the liquids they are recommending and compare those with what the patient is consuming. The flow testing method is taught, and applications are discussed.

5. Best Practices for Implementation of Recommended Liquid Consistency

Best practices are discussed for various patient care settings to increase successful implementation of therapist recommendations. Practical tips from the presenter’s experience are also given.

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