Implementing it is going to be a huge task and so we are now preparing to do all we can to support a smooth transition.
As a start our website shop now includes the new numbering system on every product www.slodrinks.com/shop. We have also created this consistency translator containing all the terms we know that are used to describe consistency and how they relate to the new IDDSI numbering system.
All the artwork for our packaging is currently being amended and our promotional material will now include all the known terms used to describe a particular consistency. E.g. Stage 1: IDDSI 2/ mildly thick/ syrup, nectar, 150; Stage 2: IDDSI 3/moderately thick, custard, honey, 400.
In the meantime, the Initiative advocates using a specific syringe to test consistency. This was incredibly difficult to source and we have only managed to find one supplier in the UK.
If you therefore want to obtain the right syringe you can buy them at www.midmeds.co.uk The product code is MD300912/10 (BD10ml Luer Lok Syringes x10). They are supplied in a box of 10 and will cost you approx. £ 9.00 – delivered.
From our experience of using them, we would like to offer the following suggestions:
- Wash and dry a syringe thoroughly before use. Even though they are supplied sealed.
- Make sure no water is in the syringe before use. Any water left in the syringe can change your results.
- Wash as soon as you can after use or they will be difficult to clean.
- Wear gloves. Your hands will get messy and sticky.
- Decide whether you measure taking into account the meniscus or not.
- Drinks made with starch or gum thickener can be gritty. This can collect in the syringe nozzle, restrict flow and give a false reading.
- Drinks made with chilled and cold water will flow slower than those at room temperature.
- Carbonated drinks cannot be tested with the syringe. The bubbles affect the results. A flow or spread test or a Bostwick Consistometer are the only effective ways to measure these drinks.
Finally and most importantly…
- Test the drinks you make immediately and then every 15 minutes for a couple of hours.
Those with dysphagia take a long time to drink. You therefore need to check the drink is the right consistency when it is first made and it maintains the consistency a few hours later. We test all Slõ Drinks over 3 hours; some for 24 hours.
A copy of our testing sheet can be downloaded from our Clinicians room.
We hope this all helps.
In the meantime, you can save yourself having to do any of this every time you make a thickened drink using the scoop-and-hope method? Just use our sachets to make a Slõ Drink.
They already meet the IDDSI consistencies and available here: www.slodrinks.com/shop