Speaking Valve Plays an Important Role in Patients’ Lives

Speaking Valve Plays an Important Role in Patients’ Lives

Speech language therapy plays an important role for patients with complex medical needs at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital. A tool commonly used by speech-language pathologists is the Passy-Muir Speaking Valve. This one-way valve attaches to the outside opening of the patient’s tracheostomy tube and allows air to pass into the tracheostomy. The valve redirects airflow through the vocal folds allowing young patients to use their voice.

Former patient, Keaton Williams, started using his speaking valve when he was four months old. He immediately loved being able to use his voice to coo and eventually began babbling non-stop. 

Keaton’s speech language pathologist at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital, Sarah Burton, recalls when Keaton used his speaking valve. “The valve allowed Keaton to interact with his peers during class and play groups. It also helped him progress in eating by mouth. My favorite moment was witnessing his mother and grandmother hearing his voice loud and clear for the first time.”

Evidence-based research shows the Passy-Muir Speaking Valve offers patients numerous clinical benefits beyond communication. Erin March, speech language pathology coordinator at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital, explains how the valve can significantly impact a child’s world.

“It can assist to restore a more normal airway system allowing the child to have an improved sense of smell, taste, and secretion management. The valve can also assist children with improvement in swallowing, assist with weaning from a ventilator, and of course, the use of their voice.”

The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital offers home ventilator training services, on-site pulmonology and otolaryngology rounds, respiratory therapy, and speech therapy services as part of our overall service of care for patients with tracheostomies.

To learn more about the medical staff and services provided at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital, click here.

Image courtesy of Passy Muir, Inc. Irvine, CA

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