The stethoscope is a medical device for listening to the internal sounds of the human body. It has a circular resonator that is placed against the body, and two earpieces to transmit the sound to the therapist.
One method of assessing swallowing difficulties is called cervical auscultation. This is using a stethoscope to evaluate the later stages of swallowing where the swallow is "triggered" and the food moves down the throat and into the oesophagus.
The stethoscope is placed on the side of the clients neck around their Adam's apple or voice box. This is to listen to the sounds of swallowing and the breathing sounds related to swallowing.
It is used to evaluate the coordination of swallowing and breathing and to determine if there are any difficulties such as aspiration or any food residue left in the back of the throat.
It is used as a tool alongside other methods to assess the swallow and gives useful information about which bit of the swallow the client is having difficulties with.
How we can help
Our Dysphagia trained therapists can use this apparatus with clients to listen for problems with swallowing.
Our therapists can provide advice, training and support for those wishing to use this approach to communication.