- The Japanese Society of Internal Medicine
- Internal Medicine (ISSN:09182918)
- vol.61, no.22, pp.3335-3341, 2022-11-15 (Released:2022-11-15)
Objective This study aimed to validate the efficacy of the complete lateral position method among elderly patients with severe dysphagia. Methods We enrolled 103 patients >65 years old who were diagnosed with severe dysphagia via the fiberoptic endoscopic examination of swallowing and were treated with the complete lateral position method at Hida Municipal Hospital between February 1, 2015, and October 31, 2020. Patients treated with the complete lateral position method were included in the lateral position group, and patients treated with conventional methods were included in the control group. The mortality rates were then compared between the lateral position and control groups. Results All patients had severe dysphagia. However, the complete lateral position method significantly decreased the mortality rate in the lateral position group compared with the control group (64.7% vs. 38.8%; p<0.01). In the lateral position group, approximately 55.6% of patients who were discharged from the hospital were able to safely take food orally again in the sitting position. Furthermore, the complete lateral position method significantly shortened the fasting period and improved the prognosis in patients whose condition had progressed due to senility in the lateral position group compared with the control group (17.3 vs. 8.8 days, p<0.05; 28.4 vs. 67.5 days, p<0.05) Conclusion The complete lateral position method facilitated safe oral ingestion among elderly patients with severe dysphagia. Furthermore, safe oral ingestion decreased the mortality rate and shortened the fasting period at the end of life. The method is easy to implement and does not require the use of special devices or techniques. It can therefore be a useful approach in the care of elderly patients with severe dysphagia.