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Friends agree funding to Adult and Speech Therapy

In the Friends Fund 2022 applications the Trustees of the Friends of St Mary’s Hospital were pleased to agree funding for 2 items for the Adult and Speech Therapy - Acute and Stroke Department.

Biozoon “Air with Flavour” agreed funding £244.70.

Biozoon allows people who are unable to eat or drink normally, the ability to taste again. It is designed for people who have difficulty in swallowing, who are ‘nil by mouth’ and fed by a tube. The system creates a light airy foam which can be spooned off and served, providing the person with an intense taste experience. The foam instantly disappears leaving nothing in the mouth and without the need to swallow

Examples of patients that we may use Biozoon with are stroke patients who have difficult or unsafe swallows. Swallowing difficulties are known as ‘dysphagia’.

Natalie Insley (pictured) from the department kindly gave Lesley Myland (Chair of Trustees) (pictured) and Deborah Downer (Business manager of the Friends) a demonstration of how the Biozoon works. An orange flavour was used and both could taste the Orange in the foam and could understand how this would help patients.

Natalie told us a great story of how the Biozoon had helped a patient;

“We have used Biozoon with a gentleman who suffered a Stroke in December 2022. This gentleman had regular swallow assessments with Speech and Language Therapists and presented with an unsafe swallow. He was unable to eat or drink for around 8 weeks and was fed by a feeding tube. This gentleman was able to mobilise and communicate with no concerns but unable to eat and drink.

During a discussion, the gentleman mentioned a love for coffee and how much he missed the taste of this. We offered Biozoon to allow him the taste of coffee and to help boost his low mood. He was really keen to try this.

With a coffee in hand… The day finally arrived for Biozoon!

Using easy step by step instructions below, I was able to show the gentleman and his family members how to use the equipment.

1. Pour a floured AIR sachet into 50mls of coffee and mix well.

2. Connect one end of the tube to a pipette and the other end of the tube connects to the Biozoon pump.

3. Place the pipette into the coffee.

4. Turn on the pump

5. Watch as micro air bubbles are created and ready to taste! The lightweight foam can then be spooned into a patient’s mouth.

The feedback received from the gentleman was pure joy. It was quite an emotional moment for all. Using the Biozoon, he was able to taste his favourite coffee again with minimal risk and without the need for swallowing.

We were then able to loan this gentleman the Biozoon for him to take home and enjoy many other drinks whilst he continued to have ongoing assessments with Speech and Language Therapists to rehabilitate his swallow.

This gentleman’s swallow is continuing to improve and he is now able to eat and drink modified consistencies”

IOPI - funding agreed £2629.00

The application explained that evidence exists to show that tongue exercise in dysphagia patients, as documented with the IOPI, can lead to improved swallowing outcomes. The IPOI allows the clinician to use protocols that have been proven to work in exercise science. It objectively measures and documents lip and tongue strength, compares patients data with norms, sets exercise parameters using the principles of exercise science, provides biofeedback during oral motor exercise programs and to measure and document patient improvement and evaluate programme effectiveness.

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