Aspiration Pneumonia Management in Complex Cases:

Time to go Beyond the Swallow

Recorded Course – 0.8 ASHA CEUS

Presented by: George Barnes, M.S. CCC-SLP, BCS-S

If you work in a hospital, chances are that you’ll encounter complex medical cases with known or suspected aspiration.

These cases could involve respiratory disease, supplemental oxygen needs, multiple comorbidities, weak immune systems, feeding tubes, muscle atrophy, and a lot of uncertainty.

When and how should med SLPs intervene if aspiration is in the picture? Is the goal always to prevent aspiration as soon as possible? What if the patient wants to eat and drink anyway?


George Barnes covers this and more in his eight-hour course, Aspiration Pneumonia Management in Complex Cases: Time to go beyond the swallow.

This deep-dive course will guide you through critical considerations in aspiration pneumonia, the respiratory system, medical complexities, dysphagia, and a 6-step decision-making process to help SLPs make the best recommendations for individual patients.

Dysphagia isn’t the star of the show here (although it gets an honorable mention)! 

Instead, George will teach you how to zoom out and look at the entire picture far beyond the swallow, capturing the whole patient.

After you complete this course, you’ll be able to…

  • Describe an overview of the respiratory system and disease processes.
  • Identify the pathogenesis of aspiration pneumonia.
  • Identify the risk factors of aspiration pneumonia.
  • Find creative ways to manage risk factors of aspiration pneumonia that go beyond traditional dysphagia interventions. 
  • Use a 6-step decision-making process to improve clinical decision-making.

George is a med SLP and board-certified swallowing specialist who is dedicated to complex patient care in the acute care setting.

He has a track record of pushing forward various patient-centered initiatives through his work with the SIG13 Dysphagia Editorial Committee, the NJSHA Dysphagia Subcommittee, and participation in numerous interdisciplinary teams in the hospital setting.

He is also the co-founder of a mobile FEES service to expand access to high-quality dysphagia services.

With the help of a powerhouse team of SLP colleagues, mentors, and researchers, George has been working tirelessly to develop a tool to help SLPs better manage dysphagia and calculate the risk of pneumonia.

“Before I did a lot of research on this, I used to envision two defenseless balloons filling up with content whenever someone aspirated. Our bodies actually have multiple levels of defense. A big part of this course is understanding that not every patient who aspirates develops pneumonia…and we can use that information to make better clinical decisions with complex cases.”

-George Barnes, M.S. CCC-SLP, BCS-S

Hold on to your toothbrushes and yank out your Yankauers, because George is about to blow you away with eight hours' worth of applicable information that will forever change the way you think about aspiration management in complex cases!