Tijdschrift voor gerontologie en geriatrie vol:35 issue:4 pages:153-156
This study was designed to determine whether significant differences in saturation levels existed among patients with aspiration and patients without and wether pulse oximetry can reliably detect aspiration in patients with dysphagia. We also examined the effects of gender and disease (neurologic versus non neurologic) on saturation levels. We studied 38 patients. They all underwent a videofluoroscopic study of swallowing (VFSS). Twenty patients aspirated on videofluoroscopic study of swallowing: ten patients were solid aspirators, ten patients were liquid aspirators. In each group (liquid aspirators, solid aspirators or non aspirators) we found no significant difference in saturation levels. We found however a significant difference in saturation levels between each group before, during and after videofluoroscopic study of swallowing. Both gender and disease had an effect on saturation levels. We conclude that pulse oximetry can not serve as a screening tool for detection of aspiration as saturation levels are dependent on many factors. Therefore one can not reliably predict aspiration with a single saturation screening.