Background: Feeding therapists regularly evaluate infants for signs of aspiration during feeds (1,7). When such events are detected, interventions to mitigate these occurrences are applied (1,2-6). Interestingly, it is widely accepted within the adult literature that occasional instances of aspiration are a normal variant of function that pose no deleterious pulmonary effects in healthy individuals (8). However, little is known regarding these normal correlates of aspiration in infants (9). The aim of this investigation is to fill this void by establishing objective normal correlates of feeding performance among healthy, non-dysphagic infants.
Methods: Healthy full-term infants without concerns for swallowing impairments were prospectively enrolled for home monitoring of their feeding performance. Monitoring was completed 48 hours each week throughout the first month of life and included feeding times, volume of intake, and number of feeding-related coughing episodes. Data was summarized using descriptive statistics, with changes in coughing throughout the first month of life evaluated using a paired t-test.
Results: Nineteen infants (53% female) were enrolled in the investigation at the time of abstract submission. The majority of infants (68%) coughed at least once each monitoring period, with the number of feeding related coughing episodes ranging from 0-35 times per two-day data collection period. This equated to infant’s coughing during an average of 15% of their feeds. No significant changes in the proportion of feeds with coughs were observed throughout the first month of life (p=0.13).
Conclusions: Some coughing during feeds is likely a normal variant of development among healthy term infants.
Target Audience: OT, SLP, PT, and neonatal professionals
Educational Level: Intermediate
Instructional Methods: Recorded webinar, lecture, and case studies. Learning assessment and course evaluation follow course.
Course Completion Requirements:
The learner must view the entire webinar, complete the course evaluation and complete the post webinar learning assessment with at least 80% to receive education credit. Login and logout times will be recorded and documented.
Following completion of this course physical therapists, nurses and other disciplines will receive a certificate of completion and a zip file containing information necessary to submit to their individual state for education credit. Zip file will include course bibliography. Physical therapists are responsible for knowing and adhering to their state’s deadlines, rules and regulations.