Excessive drooling a major problem for many children with neurological disorders

Saliva Management Clinic receives prestigious award for helping children and teens who drool excessively

November 20, 2007 – The MAB-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre receives an Award of Excellence for Innovation for establishing Quebec’s first Saliva Management Clinic. The clinic founded in 2005, in association with The Montreal Children’s Hospital of the MUHC, helps children and teens who are stigmatized because they drool excessively. Many of these children are socially isolated and are embarrassed by their condition. L’Association des établissements de réadaptation en déficience physique du Québec (AERDPQ) presented the Centre with the award during its annual banquet on Thursday November 15. The award recognizes the MAB-Mackay’s contribution to improving the quality of life of its patients.

“We are honoured to receive this prestigious award. We are very proud of our Saliva Management Clinic which provides ‘one stop, one shop’ care for children who drool excessively,” says Diane Calce, Clinic Manager. “By helping children gain control over their drooling, we boost their self esteem, break their social isolation, enable some to get and keep jobs and we are also alleviating the burden of care on parents.”

Drooling problems can affect children of all ages, more specifically those who have neurological impairments such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy and mental retardation. Children with saliva management issues can present with over secretion of saliva, poor oral motor abilities, inappropriate posture, weak swallow reflects or limited sensitivity awareness of what is wet and what is dry.

The specialized Saliva Management Clinic evaluates and treats youth presenting with significant and persistent saliva management problems. The clinic’s mandate is to identify the causes of the saliva problems and to make appropriate treatments recommendations. Amongst the various treatment options available, Botulinum toxin injection (Botox-r) into the salivary glands is a promising intervention for drooling. It is proving to be an effective, reversible and minimally invasive therapeutic tool. The follow-up of the recommendations are ensured by the MAB-Mackay in conjunction with other resources in the community. The Clinic’s multidisciplinary team includes an ENT specialist, a neurologist, a dentist, a pediatrician, a speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist and social worker. Otolaryngologist Dr. Sam Daniel is the director of the Clinic.

Since opening two years ago, the Centre has received over 156 referrals from across Quebec. In addition, Dr. Sam Daniel opened two other Saliva Clinics, one based at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, for children in need of medical intervention because their complex health conditions put them at risk of aspirating their saliva; and one based at the Queen Elizabeth Health Centre for adults suffering from excessive drooling.

If you would like to learn more about the clinics and interview some of the health care professionals or patients please call: Diane Calce at 514-482-0500#288