UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Neurology

Title: Dyspaghia and Stroke

Keywords: dysphagia, stroke, dysarthria, gag reflex (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/22/2009 by Aisha Liferidge, MD (Updated: 10/21/2021)
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  • During the emergency department management of all stroke patients, an NPO (nothing by mouth) status should be maintained until a formal swallow study can be performed to determine whether there is dysphagia.
  • The best predictor of dysphagia (swallowing difficulty) in a stroke patient is the presence of dysarthria (motor speech abnormality).
  • While the absence of a gag reflex, may suggest some degree of dysphagia, remember that about 10 to 15% of people lack a gag reflex.