Sandidge's Swallowing Program a Success

by Corey Fawcett

John Sandidge's speech-language pathology cohort was the first at the University of Memphis to have an entire class dedicated to swallowing.

Now, Sandidge runs his own swallowing program at MSHC. "The program uses surface electromyographic biofeedback," he said.

It works by measuring the electrical activity of someone's swallowing muscles via a triode patch placed under their chin. The information is then projected onto a screen that depicts the degree of effort a patient is utilizing to swallow.

"This technique gives the patient visual feedback on how hard they're working," Sandidge said. "I wouldn't do a session without it—that's how effective it is. And patients love it."

Sandidge has been running the program for three years. His next steps for the program include contacting the medical community to recruit more clients.

"Swallowing is one of the most rewarding aspects of speech language pathology," he said. "It's extremely gratifying to see people regain their ability to swallow. These are some of the most appreciative clients we see."