Interview with Professor Rudolf Likar, MSc. Head of the Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care at the LKH Klagenfurt, Austria by Natalia Muehlemann, Nestlé Health Science.
From ESICM Paris 23rd October 2018
NM: Good afternoon. We are here at ESICM, the European Society for Intensive Care Medicine Congression Paris. I’m with Professor Rudolf Likar, the Head of Intensive Care in Klagenfurt, Austria. Professor Likar, you have been… recently received an innovation award in your hospital. Could you comment on it?
RL: We received an innovation award from our hospital because of how we treat dysphagia, because we did treat in an interdisciplinary way, I’m an anaesthetist, and from our team some anaesthetists are specialised to how we treat dysphagia. Dr Christen…………………., for example, and we cooperate with the Department of Neurology and also with the speech language therapists. And we could show if we treat dysphagia adequately that patients have benefit, that means we can extubate patients earlier. We have… could reduce the incidence of pneumonia. We could reduce the re-intubation rate. I think that’s a really good outcome.
NM: This is a great result. What would you recommend your colleagues who do not yet have systematic screening in place, how to approach it the best?
RL: I think now with this fibre-optic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing, if we were suspicious of dysphagia, we did it first, then we did pharyngeal electrical stimulation for three days and we could extubate the patient very early and I think we have to implement this in our daily practice. But I think we have to define the criteria; when should we do it. I think not if the patient’s only intubated for one or two days. But if may be the patient’s intubated for longer time, seven days, if the patient is older than 55 and so on, I think in these patients we should think about how should we implement pharyngeal electrical stimulation.
NM: Thank you very much.