Swallowing & Communication (Child)
'Speaking valves' are sometimes called 'one-way valves' or 'speech and swallow' valves. They can be fitted to a trachy tube or into a ventilator circuit. These valves are open when the patient breathes in via the trachy, but close when the patient breathes out. This means that gas cannot escape via the trachy and is therefore forced out past the tube in the windpipe and out through the mouth.
As the exhaled gas is passing through the larynx or 'voice box' then the patient can often vocalise, talk or simply make an audible noise. This can have a positive impact on anxiety, mood and communication, but also can bring benefits to patients in their development, secretion control, coughing and even help going to the toilet.
In this short video, Jo Marks from the Speech & Language Therapy Department at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, explains how 'speech & swallow valve' trails commence in paediatric patients. If you are preparing for a trial, by watching this video both you and your child will understand what to expect.