In their most recent article Using fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing to detect laryngeal penetration and aspiration in infants in the neonatal intensive care unit, published in 2017 in the Journal of Perinatology, your NANT 7 Pre-Conference presenters establish that“FEES is safe and reliable in assessing laryngeal penetration and tracheal aspiration in NICU infants”.
In order to engage in this work over the past years, the presenters and their colleagues have established a comprehensive and multidisciplinary FEES program in their NICU. They will share all they’ve learned with you during the morning session of the NANT Pre-Conference.
Is this NEW information? Yes
Does it feel controversial to some? Yes.
Because it’s new. Because it takes a long-standing paradigm and shifts it ever so slightly.
Is FEES a magic bullet for assessment? No.
Is anything a magic bullet when assessing a complex system in a fragile population? No.
Does it add new value? Yes. (But we’ll let you decide for yourself.)
Will they discuss using FEES to assess swallow safety with breastfed infants? Yes. They’ll talk about that too. In fact, that is a really exciting facet of their work.
Will there be more research to come on this subject? Yes. Always.
Is there an immense amount of training to be done? Yes. Always.
And here’s the thing: Every single assessment and intervention (product, medication etc) utilized in the NICU began with establishing safety. (First, do no harm.) It continued to be used because when delivered by specially trained clinicians, it was deemed beneficial, additive, and effective.
The theme of NANT 7 is Reimagine Your Impact. That means, in part, that you bring your open and curious mind to discover what you could do for infants and families if you were able to innovate, develop, and pioneer new things while maintaining patient safety and the integrity of our specialties.
The Pre-Conference sessions exemplify the spirit of that theme. Collectively we are capable of so much more than relying solely on the past. The future is bright my friends. For us, for babies, for families.
Next week, we’ll discuss Pre-Conference Session II, which will also redefine the scope of your impact. Promise.
(They are over both over 50% full so jump in ASAP if interested. You may attend one or both sessions, subject to availability.)