ESSD Commentary on Dysphagia Management During COVID Pandemia

Antonio Schindler, Laura W. J. Baijens, Pere Clave, Bjorn Degen, Stephanie Duchac, Rainer Dziewas, Daniele Farneti, Shaheen Hamdy, Emilia Michou, Peter Pokieser, Renee Speyer, Margaret Walshe, Eric Verin, Nathalie Rommel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademicpeer-review


Since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic a Global Public Health Emergency, experts in swallowing are seeking guidance on service delivery and clinical procedures. The European Society for Swallowing Disorders provides considerations to support experts in swallowing disorders in clinical practice. During the COVID-19 pandemic, assessment and treatment of patients with oropharyngeal dysphagia should be provided, while at the same time balancing risk of oropharyngeal complications with that of infection of patients and healthcare professionals involved in their management. Elective, non-urgent assessment may be temporarily postponed and patients are triaged to decide whether dysphagia assessment is necessary; instrumental assessment of swallowing is performed only if processing of the instruments can be guaranteed and clinical assessment has not provided enough diagnostic information for treatment prescription. Assessment and management of oropharyngeal dysphagia is a high-risk situation as it must be considered an aerosol-generating procedure. Personal protective equipment (PPE) should be used. Telepractice is encouraged and compensatory treatments are recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)764-767
Number of pages4
Issue number4
Early online date27 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Dysphagia
  • Assessment
  • Personal protective equipment


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