Recommendations and practices for dysphagia attention during the COVID-19 pandemic
Introduction: Coronavirus infection (SARS-CoV-2) leading to COVID-19 is highly contagious and its management may require hospitalization and ventilatory support. Healthcare providers are exposed to contagion during the diagnosis and treatment of dysphagia. Practices should be modified in relation to available resources and staff safety.
Methods: Recommendations issued by PAHO and from associations aimed at the study and treatment of dysphagia were collected, and the present work was designed to provide guidance on outpatient, hospital management, and follow-up of patients with COVID-19.
Relevance: Options are provided for diagnostic and treatment modalities, as well as for inpatient care, intensive care and possible post-hospital complications. These guidelines will serve healthcare providers to properly and safely manage dysphagia during a healthcare crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conclusions: We recommend considering each case multidisciplinary and on the basis of the patient’s individual circumstances and the availability of resources. Innovation, introducing telemedicine and other techniques are needed to resolve current difficulties and to produce new scientific evidence as well.