Dysphagia malpractice: Litigation and the expert witness

Dennis C. Tanner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Dysphagia is a swallowing disorder, and its diagnosis and treatment are the responsibilities of speech-language pathologists. It is frequently an issue in medical malpractice litigation because it can cause aspiration pneumonia and lead to serious medical complications. In this article, dysphagia is defined and there is a discussion of professionals and their responsibilities in its management. The phases and steps in dysphagia malpractice investigation are outlined and several issues in litigation are examined, including clinical timelines, the "possibly-probably" distinction, clinician competency and proficiency, the importance of the videofluorographic swallow study, adequacy of professional communication, clinical documentation, and diagnostic and treatment practices relative to current standards of professional conduct.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech and Hearing


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