Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC) has released an Official Statement on Speech-Language Pathology Services in Healthcare Settings during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The purpose of this Official Statement is to support the health and safety of SAC members and associates undertaking speech-language pathology procedures in healthcare settings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Official Statement highlights concerns in the international community about the potential for a number of speech-language pathology procedures to be aerosol generating. However, current guidance from some provinces and territories may not support this view.
In the context of this rapidly changing health emergency, SAC members and associates should consider the best available evidence concerning potentially aerosol-generating speech-language pathology procedures when undertaking risk assessments for individual patients.
S-LPs are encouraged to raise the profession’s concerns about the risks associated with aerosol-generating speech-language pathology procedures with their employers, while making necessary modifications to their practice as part of a risk management approach to patient care in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The following resources may be used to inform clinical practice, as well as advocacy initiatives:
- Official Statement
- Information Sheet on the use of N-95 masks for speech-language pathology services
- Rehabilitation for Patients with COVID-19: Guidance for Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Speech-Language Pathologists and Assistants developed at McMaster University is a living document that provides specific considerations for rehabilitation professionals on the frontline.
- The Swallowing Rehabilitation Research Lab at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute has shared guidance for speech-language pathologists during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Infection Prevention and Control for COVID-19: Second Interim Guidance for Acute Healthcare Settings (Health Canada)
- Guidance for Health Care Workers Performing Aerosol Generating Medical Procedures during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Canadian Society of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery)
- Guidelines for management of Head & Neck Cancer during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Canadian Association of Head & Neck Surgical Oncology)
- Recommendations on Post-Operative Care Following Tracheotomy During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Canadian Society of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Task force)
- Stroke Best Practices During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Heart and Stroke Foundation Canada)
- ASHA Guidance to SLPs Regarding Aerosol Generating Procedures
- Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists Guidance Produced in Response to COVID-19
- Speech Pathology Australia Guidance for Service Delivery, Clinical Procedures and Infection Control during COVID-19 Pandemic
- COVID-19 Information and Resources: Risk Management of AGPs for Dysphagia Care (Dysphagia Research Society)