Use of Oral Hydration Protocols for Dysphagic Patients Following Stroke

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The aim of the study was to describe the use of oral hydration protocols for dysphagic patients following stroke.

Design and Methods

We reviewed inpatient records for patients able to take food and liquids orally within 30 days of an ischemic stroke. Orders were hierarchically defined with three levels of liquid consistency modification (LCM) and six levels of augmented hydration orders (AHOs). Change from admission to discharge in hydration and functional independence measure (FIM) scores across LCM and AHO groups was assessed.


Length of stay, admission FIM, discharge FIM, and change in FIM scores were all significantly related to LCM and AHO group assignment. Need for supplemental intravenous hydration was low (6.9%) over the 2-year study period and was significantly related to both LCM and AHO group assignment.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance

The association of LCM and AHO interventions with functional outcomes and need for intravenous fluids helps to validate their clinical utility.

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