Aerodynamic Characteristics of Tracheostomy Speaking Valves An Updated Report Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1999
Aerodynamic Characteristics of Tracheostomy Speaking Valves
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • David J. Zajac
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Lisa Fornataro-Clerici
    The Medical Center Beaver, PA
  • Thomas A. Roop
    University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Braddock, PA and Community College of Allegheny County Pittsburgh, PA
  • Contact author: David J. Zajac, PhD, UNC Craniofacial Center, CB# 7450, Chapel Hill, NC 27599. Email: david_zajac@dentistry.unc.edu
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1999
Aerodynamic Characteristics of Tracheostomy Speaking Valves
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1999, Vol. 42, 92-100. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4201.92
History: Received January 22, 1998 , Accepted September 2, 1998
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1999, Vol. 42, 92-100. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4201.92
History: Received January 22, 1998; Accepted September 2, 1998

Two analyses were conducted to define some aerodynamic properties of one-way speaking valves designed for use with the tracheotomized patient. In the first analysis, the resistance to airflow of six different valves was determined during steady-state flow testing at rates of .450, .500, and .550 l/s. Significant differences among the valves were established only at the lowest flow rate. All valves exhibited relatively low resistance in the range of nasal resistance reported for normal adults. In the second analysis, the aerodynamic integrity of the valves was assessed during repetition of the syllable /pa/ under a condition used to simulate tracheostomy speech production. Significant differences were found among the valves in terms of air loss occurring during the rise in pressure associated with the production of the consonant /p/. Valves with diaphragms open at atmospheric pressure consistently exhibited air loss. Average slope of the rise in pressure for one of the valves tested was significantly greater, suggesting increased work during speech production. The results of these analyses suggest that although the inspiratory resistance to airflow was similar among various one-way speaking valves, some valves exhibit air loss during speech production.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported in part by NIH Grant R29 DE-10175. The authors thank Robert Orlikoff, Bernd Weinberg, and an anonymous reviewer for helpful comments on the manuscript. We also thank the various manufacturers for use of their valves for testing purposes. It should be noted, however, that none of the authors is affiliated in any way with any of the valve manufacturers.
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