Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) in the NICU Population

Presenter(s): Jacqueline Davis, MS, CCC-SLP, CNT, Carol Anne Camp, MS, CCC-SLP, CNT

 

Feeding in the NICU is complex and often a multifactorial clinical picture. Frequently, there is a disconnect between the clinical bedside evaluation and the true safety of the swallow due to the high prevalence of silent aspiration. Now emerging into the NICU, the FEES procedure has been shown to be an effective and reliable tool to identify penetration and aspiration at the bedside in the premature population. In June 2017, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Center implemented a FEES program in their level III NICU unit. Initiated by the NICU Speech-Language Pathologists with the support of the neonatologists and nursing leadership, our FEES program has been a powerful and useful tool to assist with the often-complex multifactorial feeding picture in the premature population. Now emerging into the NICU, the FEES procedure has been shown to be a safe, effective and reliable tool to identify penetration and aspiration at the bedside in this population. While not a replacement of VFSS (video fluoroscopic swallow study, historically the gold standard), it is an additional alternative instrumental assessment available in the infant’s most natural environment.

 

Carol Anne Camp has been a speech-language pathologist for 13 years, with 11 of those years working in NICU settings. Her NICU experience started at Arkansas Children’s Hospital where she treated infants with feeding/swallowing difficulties, including infants with cleft lip/palates. She performed inpatient and outpatient videofluoroscopy swallow studies and evaluated patients post NICU discharge in the High-Risk Newborn Clinic. Carol Anne has been at working at UAMS NICU for the last 8 years where she has helped in the development and implementation of the FEES and Cue Based Feeding protocols. She recently became a Certified Neonatal Therapist.

Jacqueline Davis has been a speech-language pathologist for 16 years in various acute care settings. Jacqueline started working with adult patients at Parkland Health in Dallas where she rotated between Trauma, Surgery, Neuro, Burn, and Medicine. Since moving to Arkansas in 2008, she has continued being an inpatient clinician. She has been at UAMS for the last 10 years. She is a vital part in helping develop a rehab team in the NICU. She also helped develop and implement the FEES and Cue Based Feeding protocols. She recently became a Certified Neonatal Therapist.

 

Disclosure for Carol Anne Camp & Jacqueline Davis

Financial Relationships: None 
Non-financial Relationships: None

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