INTRODUCTION: Post-extubation dysphagia is commonly observed in ICU patients and associated with increased aspiration rates, delayed resumption of oral intake/ malnutrition, prolonged ICU and hospital length of stay, decreased quality of life, and increased mortality. Conventional therapeutic approaches are limited. Pharyngeal electrical stimulation (PES) was previously shown to improve swallowing function and airway safety in severely dysphagic tracheostomised stroke patients. METHODS: In a multi-center, single-blind, 1:1 randomized controlled study, up to 400 (360 evaluable) mixed emergency adult ICU patients with recent extubation following mechanical ventilation and confirmed oropharyngeal dysphagia will be enrolled at investigational academic ICUs. Primary objective is to evaluate the effectiveness of PES in reducing the severity of unsafe swallows. Patients will be randomized to receive PES (or sham) treatment on 3 consecutive days in addition to best supportive care. Primary endpoint is a composite of 2 endpoints with hierarchy based on clinical priorities: DISCUSSION:: This study will evaluate the effects of PES on swallowing safety in critically ill ICU patients post mechanical ventilation with oropharyngeal dysphagia.

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Keywords FEES, intensive care unit, mechanical ventilation, oropharyngeal dysphagia, PES, pharyngeal electrical stimulation
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Journal Medicine
Schefold, J.C. (Joerg C.), Bäcklund, M. (Minna), Ala-Kokko, T. (Tero), Zuercher, P. (Patrick), Mukherjee, R. (Rajat), Mistry, S. (Satish), … Jakob, S.M. (Stephan M.). (2020). The PhINEST study - Pharyngeal ICU Novel Electrical Stimulation Therapy: Study protocol of a prospective, multi-site, randomized, sham-controlled, single-blind (outcome assessor-blinded) study. Medicine, 99(11). doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000019503