Larengectomy patients have a strong voice in Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/10/10

Larengectomy patients have a strong voice in Lubbock

By Kristin Beerman | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Diane Braden, President of a Lubbock laryngectomy support group, speaks through a tiny prosthetic device, which is hardly visible inside the hole in her neck where her larynx was removed. 

It is an amazing technology that brings a potentially devastating problem in an emergency.  So, speech pathologist Jennifer Hanners is trying to get the word out if you rush to the aid of someone who has collapsed, check the neck first, to see if that's where they breathe. 

"We have seen patients receive oxygen in the wrong place and then they struggle with breathing," said Jennifer Hanners, a supervisor in speech pathology at UMC.  "There are a lot of medical professionals that don't understand when they see this voice prosthesis and this open hole, they think it's an obstruction and they remove it."

The Lubbock New Voice Club is a support group for laryngectomy patients and their families.  For more information on those meetings, call the UMC speech pathology department at 775-9224.

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