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Dysphagia and Pulmonary Function Part 2: Pulmonary Defense Mechanisms

presented by Deanna Britton

Accreditation Check:

Pulmonary function and pulmonary defenses are highly relevant to dysphagia assessment in adults. This course, with Deanna Britton, provides an in-depth review of the body’s pulmonary defense systems that are relevant to SLPs assessing patients for dysphagia. The course begins by describing cellular level defenses employed in the respiratory tract and lungs, and then covers reflexive defenses including cough and other expiratory reactions. The course concludes with a discussion of pulmonary defenses at the alveolar level, such as the alveolar macrophage. The goal of this course is both to describe pulmonary defense mechanisms, and to help participants understand how impairments of pulmonary defenses can contribute to risk for pneumonia.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Deanna Britton, PhD, CCC-SLP, BC-ANCDS

    Deanna Britton is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences at Portland State University (PSU), and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Northwest Center for Voice & Swallowing in the Department of Otolaryngology (NWCVS) – Head & Neck Surgery at Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon. She is Board Certified in Neurogenic Communication Disorders in Adults by the Academy of Neurological Communication Disorders and Sciences (ANCDS). Dr. Britton has published and presented on topics related to dysphagia, dysarthria, augmentative and alternative communication, respiratory support for speech and swallowing, motor neuron disease, and spinal cord injury. Her research interests include respiratory support for swallowing and cough effectiveness.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Anatomic Airway Defenses & Mucociliary Clearance

    1. Anatomic Airway Defenses & Mucociliary Clearance

    Following aspiration or respiratory compromise, the body employs several strategies at the cellular level to protect pulmonary function. In the first chapter of this course, Deanna Britton reviews key cellular level defenses, such as including mucociliary clearance.

  2. Cough and Other Reflexive Airway Defenses

    2. Cough and Other Reflexive Airway Defenses

    Reflexive and volitional cough and other macro-level respiratory defense mechanisms are also essential to protecting pulmonary function. In this chapter Deanna Britton reviews the mechanisms behind reflexive and volitional cough, and reviews scenarios in which these mechanisms can break down due to respiratory pathology.

  3. Alveolar defenses & Overall Summary

    3. Alveolar defenses & Overall Summary

    Defenses specific to the alveoli represent a final defense mechanism for the pulmonary system. The final chapter of this course provides a brief introduction to these mechanisms, including the alveolar macrophage, anti-bacterial substances, and lymphocytes.

  4. Learning Assessment

    4. Learning Assessment

    Test your knowledge with a series of case-based questions.