What’s so important about taking a gulp?

Blacktown Hospital speech pathologists Melissa Derwent, Carly Mani, Eleanor Fairbairn, Jessica Charng and Reggie Daguio.

People on average swallow at least 900 times a day.  When we do this, 26 muscles swing into action so effortlessly, we hardly notice.

Why are we telling you this? Because for more than a million Australians, it’s not that easy.

Blacktown Hospital speech pathologists recently celebrated Swallowing Awareness Day where speech pathologists talked to people about the importance of swallowing for quality of life.

Blacktown Hospital speech pathologist Melissa Derwin pointed out that one in 17 people at some point in their life will have a condition called dysphagia.

“These people have difficulty swallowing, experience weight loss, have increased anxiety, dehydration and even pneumonia,” Ms Derwin said.

“Speech pathologists are specialists who identify and treat people who have difficulty swallowing and eating, drinking or managing saliva.

“We empower patients and staff to value safety with meal times and to consider comfort, dignity and independence.”

For further information about dysphagia or Blacktown Hospital’s speech pathology department call 9881 8393.