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B.01 Predictors of dysphagia screening after acute ischemic stroke: Who gets tested?

  • RA Joundi (a1), R Martino (a1), G Saposnik (a1), J Fang (a1), V Giannakeas (a1) and MK Kapral (a1)...

Abstract

Background: Dysphagia is a devastating complication of stroke and can lead to malnutrition, immobility, aspiration pneumonia, and death. Guidelines advocate screening all patients with acute stroke for swallowing impairment. However, previous research suggests only 60% are screened, and it is unclear what factors contribute to receiving dysphagia screening. Methods: We used the Ontario Stroke Registry to identify patients who were admitted to Regional Stroke Centres from 2010-2013. We used multivariable regression to identify predictors of receiving a dysphagia screen within 72 hours. Results: Among 7172 patients with acute ischemic stroke, 1705 patients (23.8%) did not undergo screening. Factors increasing the odds of being tested were: Stroke unit admission (adjusted odds ratio aOR 6.5), presenting with speech deficits (aOR 1.9) or weakness (aOR 1.5), or receiving thrombolysis (aOR 1.9). Seizure (aOR 0.49) and mild stroke (aOR 0.59 vs moderate stroke) decreased the odds of being tested. Among those with mild strokes who received a swallowing screen, 33% failed. *All p<0.0001. Conclusions: Patients with mild stroke are at risk of not being screened for dysphagia, despite a significant fail rate among those tested. This may expose untested patients to a higher risk of complications from dysphagia, and suggests a gap in process of care that should be addressed.

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