Abstract 3651: Reducing Incidence of Hospital Acquired Pneumonia After Acute Stroke Through Implementation Of Simple Bedside Swallow Assessment
The incidence of hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) has been estimated to occur in acute stroke patients with rates reported as high as approximately 10 - 25%. Mechanical ventilation, multiple infarct locations, dysphagia and abnormal chest x-ray findings all contribute to increased risk for dysphagia and ultimately development of pneumonia. Because fatality rates of 20 - 45% have been reported in HAP, stroke care nurses are urged to comply with guidelines recommending implementation of simple bedside swallow assessments to identify high risk patients and institute appropriate nursing interventions to avoid development of the potentially fatal complication of stroke related pneumonia. A retrospective review of 493 patients admitted to the stroke service of a community hospital was performed to determine incidence of hospital acquired pneumonia in acute stroke patients. The sample of patients were admitted through the emergency department and depending on the severity of stroke, were admitted to either an ICU or step-down unit bed. The simple bedside swallow screen was completed by an emergency department nurse. The patient was not allowed anything by mouth until the assessment was completed. If the assessment revealed the patient had a competent level of cognition, ability to adequately handle secretion in a sitting position, and maintain a venous pulse oxygenation of greater than 94%, the patient was asked to swallow three sequential one ounce medicine cups of water. If coughing, choking, drooling, or oxygen desaturation was assessed, the patient was maintained nothing by mouth until a formal swallow evaluation was completed by a speech therapist. During the period of 1/1/09 - 7/30/11, this hospital’s annual incidence of HAP in the post stroke patient was found to be significantly less than nationally published incidence. The diagnosis of HAP was based upon Center for Disease Control Guidelines for Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia. The patients reported as developing HAP met the criteria of having a primary discharge of stroke and a secondary discharge diagnosis of hospital acquired pneumonia. This community hospital’s mean incidence of hospital acquired pneumonia over the total 31 month study period was 3.6%. A simple bedside swallow screen performed by competent emergency department nurses to detect swallowing difficulty quickly and accurately in stroke patients prior to administering anything by mouth, has achieved the goal of identifying patients at high risk for dysphagia and avoiding the potential complication of hospital acquired pneumonia.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.