Congratulations Daniel Martinez-Ramirez, Leonardo Almeida, Juan C. Giugni, Bilal Ahmed, Masa-aki Higuchi, Christopher S. Little, John P. Chapman, Caroline Mignacca, Aparna Wagle Shukla, Christopher W. Hess, Karen Wheeler Hegland and Michael S. Okun
Your paper ” Rate of aspiration pneumonia in hospitalized Parkinson’s disease patients: a cross-sectional study: was named as one of the most influential articles in 2016 for BMC Neurology, according to Altmetric.com.”
Aspiration pneumonia is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Clinical characteristics of PD patients in addition to specific alterations in swallowing mechanisms contribute to higher swallowing times and impairment in the effective clearance of the airway. These issues may render patients more prone to dysphagia and aspiration events. We aimed to determine the frequency of aspiration events in a hospitalized PD cohort, and to report the number of in-hospital swallow evaluations.
A retrospective single center chart review of 212 PD patients who had 339 hospital encounters was performed from January 2011 to March 2013. Demographics, clinical characteristics, and reasons for encounters were documented. The number of in-hospital aspiration events and the number of swallowing evaluations and also the implementation of aspiration precautions were recorded.
The cohort had a mean age of 74.1 (SD = 10.1) years with mean disease duration of 6 (SD = 6.3) years. Fifty-two hospital encounters (15.3 %) were related to a pulmonary cause. In-hospital aspiration pneumonia events were reported in 8 (2.4 %) of the total encounters. Swallow evaluations were performed in 25 % of all cases, and aspiration precautions were initiated in 32 % of the encounters. The data revealed that 1/8 patient had swallowing evaluations performed prior to an aspiration event.
In-hospital aspiration pneumonia events were reported in 2.4 % of the hospitalized PD cohort. Preventive measures and precautions were not routinely performed, however rates of aspiration were relatively low. The results highlight the need for more research into screening and monitoring of swallowing problems in PD patients during hospital encounters.
Hospitalization Pneumonia Dysphagia Swallow therapy Prevention