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Airway Trauma Speech-Language Pathologist

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Presentation on theme: "Airway Trauma Speech-Language Pathologist"— Presentation transcript:

1 Airway Trauma Speech-Language Pathologist
Michelle Mekky, MA, CCC-SLP, BRS-S Speech-Language Pathologist Memorial Hermann Hospital & Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital

2 Purpose Educate the SLP on the medical diagnosis, medical treatment, and ultimate rehabilitation of voice and swallowing following airway/laryngeal trauma.  

3 Nelson Review Article Why this article
Lack of clinical research on this patient population in the SLP literature

4 Laryngeal Anatomy

5 Anatomy continued

6 Mechanism of Injury Blunt Trauma-fractures/dislocation
Penetrating Trauma Intubation Trauma Thermal and Chemical Trauma

7 Blunt Trauma Larynx is relatively well-protected
Lateral shielding by sternocleidomastoid muscle Posterior protection from cervical vertebrae Anterior protection by mandible

8 Examples of Blunt Trauma

9 Ex. of Blunt Trauma (cont)

10 Internal Trauma

11 Fractures and Dislocations
Midline or paramedian are most common Comminution & complex fractures do occur Surgical Management: ORIF &/or tracheostomy Use of stents

12 Laryngeotracheal Separation
Severe airway compromise Many die at the scene of the accident, unless mucosal attachment remains Tracheostomy performed ASAP Intubation in the field may do more harm than good Bilateral recurrent nerve injury and subglottic stenosis are common complications Ultimate surgical intervention is sometimes a total laryngectomy

13 Penetrating Trauma Car accidents Knifes
Bullets (handgun versus shotgun) Other accidents: falling on sticks or glass Blast injuries

14 Vascular Injuries Occur in 25-56% of penetrating neck wounds
Most commonly to the carotid and subclavian arteries-most common cause of death 20-30% of penetrating neck wounds result in laryngeal, tracheal, or esophageal injuries

15 Intubation Trauma Prolonged intubation leads to trauma in 4-13% of cases Larger endotracheal tubes cause more trauma History of smoking or ETOH consumption can be very drying to the mucosa GERD/LPRD

16 Intubation trauma caused by:
Abnormal anatomy (~10% of the population) Difficult laryngescopy Multiple intubations/extubations Skill of person placing (resident vs. attending) Emergent versus Elective

17 When trachs are placed In most hospitals tracheostomies are performed after days of endotracheal intubation If multiple trips to the OR are required Policies vary greatly between the different ICUs

18 Reaction to Intubation
Within 48 hours of intubation granulation tissue begins to form Mucosal ulceration is usually present

19 Immediate Laryngeal Complications
Glottic or subglottic edema Mucosal laceration Dislocation of the arytenoids Avulsion of the epiglottis Vocal cord paralysis

20 When to refer to ENT post intubation/extubation
Hoarse voice greater than 48 hours Sore throat greater than 48 hours Dysphagia Odynophagia Stridor

21 Management of Arytenoid Dislocation
Needs to occur by ENT with hours of identification Can sometimes be treated by direct endoscopy

22 Treatment of Avulsion of the Epiglottis
Open repair Laser excision

23 True VC Paralysis May occur as result of intubation &/or extubation
Brandwein et al. discovered that the anterior branch of the recurrent laryngeal nerve is vulnerable to compression between the inflated cuff of the ETT, the lateral projection of the abducted arytenoids, and the thyroid cartilage. Cord is usually lying in the paramedian position

24 Late injuries of Intubation
Intubation granuloma Cricoarytenoid ankylosis (fibrosis) Glottic webs Subglottic stenosis

25 Avoiding Late Injuries of Intubation
Limiting amount of time the pt is intubated Using the smallest ETT which will permit adequate respiratory support Using low-pressure cuffs Careful fixation of the tube to limit movement during assisted ventilation Use of steroids and antibiotics Early recognition/tx of such laryngeal injuries

26 Intubation Granuloma Forms when blood supply is poor
Area is exposed to potential contamination Steroids is a medical tx Antibiotics to promote healing of the mucosa Late presentations: voice changes, globus, repetitive medical course of tx Sometimes permanent

27 Glottic Web Can result from simultaneous denudation of both VFs near the anterior commissure When they heal together they produce a web Probably occurs more often as a complication or surgery rather than from intubation

28 Picture of Glottic Web

29 Medical tx of Glottic Webs
Surgical placement of anterior tantalum keel Endoscopic management with a laser or mechanical lysis-followed by placement of an internal Teflon keel

30 Subglottic Stenosis Definition: narrowing of the subglottic space above the inferior margin of the cricoid cartilage and below the level of the glottis Can be anterior, posterior, or complete

31 Subglottic Stenosis (cont)
Grade I - Obstruction of 0-50% of the lumen obstruction Grade II - Obstruction of 51-70% of the lumen Grade III - Obstruction of 71-99% of the lumen Grade IV - Obstruction of 100% of the lumen (ie, no detectable lumen)

32 Picture of Subglottic Stenosis

33 Tx of Subglottic Stenosis
Tracheostomy Open reduction Cricotracheal resection Medical management of GERD/LPRD if in the patient’s known history Steroids/Antibiotics Grafting

34 Consequences of Self-Extubation
Edema Possible vocal cord damage Cartilage dislocation

35 Thermal and Chemical Trauma
Inhalation of hot gases (caustic or not) cause trauma Stabilize the airway Sudden edema is of primary concern

36 Long term Injuries Loss of mucosal integrity Infection
Chondritis (inflammation of cartilage) Fibrosis

37 What the MD looks for: Cough Carbon particles Blood in the sputum
Voice change Stridor Dyspnea (shortness of breath)

38 Course of Treatment At least admitted for observation
Difficult to determine if tracheostomy is indicated

39 Medical Management of the Airway
Oral intubation after spine is clear Rarely a cricothyroidotomy is performed for an emergent airway when a trach cannot be completed Must be revised to a tracheostomy ASAP (within a few hours)

40 Role of the SLP Aphonia/Hoarseness Aspiration/Penetration
Avulsed/Amputated Epiglottis Edema Unilateral VC paresis/paralysis Bilateral VC paralysis Hearing Loss

41 Aphonia/Hoarseness Get dx from ENT
Medical management is the best course of tx for bringing back voicing Facilitate communication with a communication board and/or written communication systems

42 Aspiration/Penetration
Determine if postural changes are helpful during MBS/FEES MUST take into account fatigue on ability to perform maneuvers (respiration and structural) May try: supraglottic swallow, super-supraglottic swallow, head down, or head rotation. Diet Modification is usually necessary with or without enteral access

43 Avulsed/Amputated Epiglottis
May lead to initial odynophagia with all oral intake Chin down or super-supraglottic swallow may be a helpful to try during MBS/FEES

44 Edema Vocal rest Medical Management Steroids Anti-inflammatories

45 Unilateral VC Paresis/Paralysis
Many patients with unilateral paresis recover in the first 7-10 days post trauma Those with paralysis usually overcompensate with the good cord in 1-3 weeks Temporary tx’s by ENT: fat injection Permanent tx’s by ENT: medialization laryngoplasty or thyroplasty

46 Bilateral Vocal Cord Paralysis
Causes Paralysis (neurological) Fixation of the cricoarytenoid joints Both

47 Tx of Bilateral VC Paralysis
Usually trached and NOT a candidate for a speaking valve Written communication/Communication board/electrolarynx during acute hospital stay If permanent with no recovery to either cord then: Speech generating device with or without electrolarynx

48 Hearing Loss Reported cases of acoustic trauma SN HL following blunt neck trauma Segal et. al suggests it could be due to sheer forces acting on the cervical spine that transition to the inner cranium Other theories suggest a neuromuscular mechanism, a neuro-vascular mechanism, or a mechanical vascular obstruction Tinnitus/Balance difficulties

49 Hearing Loss (cont) Audiological/ENT referral is appropriate
Referral to physical therapy may be indicated Speech tx for aural rehabilitation

50 Thoughts for the Future
Research in voice recovery s/p airway trauma Research in swallowing function s/p airway trauma

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