Risks associated with suspected dysphagia in infants admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit in a South African public hospital

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dc.contributor.author Schoeman, Jacoline
dc.contributor.author Kritzinger, Alta M. (Aletta Margaretha)
dc.date.accessioned 2018-05-14T11:28:08Z
dc.date.available 2018-05-14T11:28:08Z
dc.date.issued 2017-06
dc.description.abstract BACKGROUND. The prevalence of neonatal dysphagia is increasing, as medical advances contribute to the survival of critically ill and preterm infants. Additional factors such as low birth weight (LBW), gastro-oesoephageal reflux disorder, failure-to-thrive (FTT), and HIV may increase the complexity of dysphagia symptoms. Knowledge of context-specific risk factors for dysphagia may lead to an effective pathway of diagnosis and management in vulnerable neonates. OBJECTIVE. To describe the feeding characteristics and categories of underlying medical conditions in infants of gestational age 24 - 42 weeks. METHODS. The study was a retrospective review of 231 purposively selected medical and speech-language therapy records. Participants had a mean stay of 28.5 days in a neonatal intensive care unit in a peri-urban public hospital and were referred for a swallowing and feeding assessment. An existing seven-category framework for the classification of suspected dysphagia was used. RESULTS. Most participants (90.0%) presented with multiple medical conditions. Underlying neurological conditions (48.5%) and feeding difficulties secondary to systemic illness (65.8%) contributed mostly to suspected dysphagia in the sample. It was found that 71.0% of infants presented with feeding difficulties secondary to other conditions such as LBW and prematurity, highlighting the need for an expanded dysphagia classification framework. CONCLUSION. The results concur with the outcomes of previous studies and confirm the need for a unique classification framework in South Africa. Dysphagia is a complex condition and frequently cannot be attributed to a single risk factor. en_ZA
dc.description.department Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology en_ZA
dc.description.librarian am2018 en_ZA
dc.description.uri http://www.sajch.org.za/index.php/SAJCH en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Schoeman, J. & Kritzinger, A. 2017, 'Risks associated with suspected dysphagia in infants admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit in a South African public hospital', South African Journal of Child Health, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 75-79. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 1994-3032 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 1999-7671 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.7196/SAJCH.2017.v11i2.1186
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/64943
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Health and Medical Publishing Group en_ZA
dc.rights © 2018 Health and Medical Publishing Group. This open-access article is distributed under Creative Commons licence CC-BY-NC 4.0. en_ZA
dc.subject Infants en_ZA
dc.subject Dysphagia en_ZA
dc.subject Neonatal intensive care unit en_ZA
dc.subject Public hospital, South Africa en_ZA
dc.subject Neonatal dysphagia en_ZA
dc.subject Low birth weight (LBW) en_ZA
dc.subject Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) en_ZA
dc.subject Failure-to-thrive (FTT) en_ZA
dc.subject Gastro-oesoephageal reflux disorder en_ZA
dc.title Risks associated with suspected dysphagia in infants admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit in a South African public hospital en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA


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