Pediatric Dysphagia: Etiologies, Diagnosis, and Management is a comprehensive professional reference on the topic of pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders. Given that these disorders derive from abnormalities in the function and/or structure of the airway and digestive systems, multiple clinical specialists may be involved in the evaluation and management of affected children at any given point in time. Therefore, this text includes significant contributions from a wide range of experts in pediatric dysphagia, including all members of the Interdisciplinary Feeding Team at Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center. These experts present an in-depth description of their roles in the diagnosis and management of dysphagic children, providing the reader with an understanding of why a multidisciplinary model of care is key to the optimization of outcomes.
Pediatric Dysphagia is divided into five parts. In Part I, readers are provided with an overview of the embryologic development of aerodigestive structures that relate to swallowing, an introduction to neural organization related to swallowing function and physiologic aspects of swallowing, a synopsis of oral motor development, a discussion of the various etiologic categories of feeding and swallowing disorders, and an overview of genetic disorders associated with feeding and swallowing issues. Part II covers the clinical and instrumental assessment of patients, including the interdisciplinary feeding team infrastructure and function, the roles of individual members of the feeding team, the specific diagnostic tests commonly used in the assessment of feeding and swallowing issues, the classification of neonatal intensive care units, and the assessment and management of feeding and swallowing issues encountered in the neonatal intensive care unit. Part III focuses on the management of pediatric dysphagia, covering a wide range of treatment strategies and interventions for children with various categories of feeding disorders. Part IV includes an introduction to the concept of evidence-based practice and the application of evidence-based strategies in the management of dysphagia. Part V presents a brief overview of the role of ethics in healthcare and ethical considerations in the treatment of dysphagic children.
In summary, the overall aim of this comprehensive text is to provide all pediatric professionals involved in the care of dysphagic patients with a basic understanding of the complexity of this disorder, the anatomic, neurologic, and physiologic components involved in this disorder, an overview of the diverse population of children who suffer with this disorder, and with a wide range of management approaches based on patient needs and capabilities. The authors also address clinical problem solving and decision making, inspiring readers to develop multidisciplinary models of care at their own institutions.