Dehydration is a serious condition affecting many patients with dysphagia. Use of thickened liquids only to maintain proper hydration is often inadequate. However, the decision to give free water to dysphagic patients remains controversial, causing many clinicians to be reluctant to offer free water. Just how risky is free water? What is the correlation between free water and aspiration pneumonia? What are the risk factors to monitor when providing free water?
This dynamic e-course will provide answers to these questions by examining the pulmonary literature for effects of water in the lungs. Aspiration pneumonia myths and facts will be addressed. The critical role of oral hygiene will be discussed. The specifics of the Free Water Protocol will be covered in great detail including assessment of which patients can and cannot be managed safely on free water.
The presenter's hospital, Frazier Rehab Institute in Louisville, KY, has successfully managed free water with thousands of dysphagic patients since 1984. What she has learned about aspiration pneumonia, thickened liquids and dehydration will be shared. Participants will gain a new perspective on free water and the knowledge to implement effectively oral hygiene, hydration, and free water protocols in their facilities. Offered for 0.6 CEUs – 6 contact hours.
The content of this online CE course does not focus exclusively on any specific proprietary product or service. Presenter financial and non-financial disclosures may be found in the Presenter & Disclosures area.
Video presentation with downloadable handout. Recorded in front of a live audience in March 2012.
Kathy Panther, MS, CCC-SLP, CBIST, is the Inpatient Rehab Director at Frazier Rehab Institute in Louisville, KY. She is also Director of Frazier's Acquired Brain Injury Program. She has 35 years of experience working in medical rehab. Kathy was one of the first SLPs in the United States to develop and implement a Free Water Protocol. Since 1984, Kathy and her team have successfully managed thousands of dysphagia patients on free water. For the past 25 years, Kathy has educated healthcare professionals on implementing free water protocols, oral care, and hydration management.
Financial — Kathy Panther is author of online CE courses sponsored by Northern Speech Services; receives royalties.
Financial — Kathy Panther is presenter of CE seminars sponsored by Northern Speech Services; receives honorarium.
Nonfinancial — Kathy Panther has no relevant nonfinancial relationships to disclose.
This program is offered for 0.6 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate Level; Professional Area).
ASHA CEUs: NSS online courses are registered with ASHA and are offered for ASHA CEUs. The number of CEUs is noted above. Note that 0.1 CEU = 1 contact hour = equals 1 CEE.
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ASHA CEUs: Attendees must meet at least one of the following conditions in order to be eligible to earn ASHA CEUs:
If an attendee is not an ASHA member or CCC holder but meets any of the above criteria, they may inform the ASHA CE Registry of their eligibility by visiting this site.
Licensing Boards: Most state licensing boards DO accept CEUs earned online (usually classified as home-study credits). Some state boards do, however, place a limit to the number of credits that can be earned via home study/online courses. For the most current information, we suggest that you contact your licensing board or agency to verify acceptance policies and/or any credit limits related to home-study courses prior to registering for this course.
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ASHA CE Registry Submission: During the enrollment process, if you select to receive ASHA credit for this course and if you provide your ASHA number, NSS will automatically submit your CEU information to the ASHA CE Registry after successful course completion (80% on post test). This submission happens once per month, during the first week of the month. For example, if you complete your course on November 7th, NSS will submit all November online course CEUs to ASHA during the first week of December. When ASHA inputs the information into their database, they will mark the course as completed on the last day of the month in which it was completed, so November 30th using this example. The certificate of completion available for you to print immediately, however, will reflect the actual completion date, November 7th in this example. Due to ASHA processing procedures please allow 2-3 weeks, from the submission date, for the course to appear on your ASHA transcript.
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State licensing boards and online CEUs: NSS is an ASHA CE Provider and most state licensing boards DO accept CEUs earned online (usually classified as home-study credits). Some boards do, however, place a limit to the number of CEUs that can be earned via home study/online courses. For the most current information, we suggest that you contact your licensing board or agency to verify acceptance policies and/or any CEU limits related to home-study courses prior to enrolling in an online course.
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"I enjoyed the coverage of aspiration pneumonia and pathogens." – J.B. (July 2017)
"I appreciate that the Frazier Water Protocol is simple and easy to follow. Ms. Panther provides a strong evidence base with the understanding that SLPs may meet resistance from other medical professionals when attempting to implement this practice." – K.M. (June 2017)
"The discussion on dehydration and viscosity of bolus was very helpful. I liked the handout and the presenter following the handout with additional information!" – C.C. (Jan 2017)
"The detailed information related to dehydration and the xerostomia was most beneficial. I liked that the power points were easy to follow while the speaker was informative and knowledgeable about the content." – J.L. (Dec. 2016)
"I found the new evidence re: increased oral pathogens in CVA patients to be really helpful." – T.A. (Dec. 2016)
"I liked all of the evidence-based research and facts that I can present to my facility to help implement the free water protocol." – D.P. (Dec. 2016)
"I enjoyed the overall topic very much and will be able to apply what I have learned in my every day practice." – K.C. (Dec. 2016)
"I found the discussion on dehydration and oral care to be the most beneficial for my daily practice in SNF. I found this entire course to be very interesting, and I liked that I could listen to each section at my convenience." – C.R. (Nov. 2016)
"I enjoyed the topic related to oral care. I have always said "a healthy mouth is a healthy body." I appreciated the references regarding specific oral care policies and procedures that are in place at different healthcare settings." – H.C. (Oct. 2016)
"The review of the literature provided will help me implement a water protocol for my facility, which frequently relies on thickened liquids with patients who show over signs/symptoms of aspiration. Additionally, this is the first in depth explanation of the implementation of the FWP that I have ever had the chance to participate in. The information provided made it easy to understand." – J.P. (Oct. 2016)
"All of it was beneficial. :) Practical, useful information with evidence based research to back it up." – S.S. (Aug. 2016)
"I especially enjoyed the discussion referring to Oral Care and Free Water in SNF/LTC Facilities. The speaker was interesting and relatable, and the material was relevant." – C.D. (July 2016)
"I really rely on water protocol in my work, and the more research we have to back it up, the better. I found this to be very helpful as a great review and to learn new information. It was great!" – B.C. (June 2016)
"I like that I can now identify patients who will be safe in implementing free water protocol." – K.M. (Apr. 2016)
"The presenter is the best source when it comes to the Free Water Protocol and has a wealth of experience and knowledge on this and oral care programs." – R.A. (Mar. 2016)
"I really appreciated the Frazier protocol outline as well as oral care assessment and administration. There were more topics covered than I expected. All necessary aspects were covered plus some." – T.T. (Feb. 2016)
"All of it was beneficial. I liked the format." – M.G. (Jan. 2016)
"Excellent course." – B.W. (Jan. 2016)