Session Title: Virtual Poster Hall
Session Time: None. Available on demand.
Disclosures: Erica R. Eldon, DO: No financial relationships or conflicts of interest
Case Description: Patient 1- 64-year-old male with deafness suffered a stroke with resultant right-sided hemiplegia that impaired his ability to sign with his dominant hand. Therapy sessions required both in-person and video interpretation services for Haitian Sign Language. Patient 2- 61-year-old male with congenital hearing loss and recent vision loss suffered a stroke with resultant left-sided hemiplegia. Vision loss prevented the use of video interpreter services. Therapy sessions were conducted with 2 interpreters, one who translated in American Sign Language (ASL) to a deaf interpreter, who then translated ASL into tactile sign. Staff were taught simple tactile signs to redirect and assess needs when interpreters were not present.
Setting: Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit
Patient: 2 cases of deaf patients who use sign language who suffered strokes resulting in motor deficits impairing their ability to sign, but no distinct deficit in processing sign language. Assessment/
Results: Patient 1 understood instructions in Haitian Sign Language. Speech and occupational therapy optimized use of the left hand and modified signs as motor function returned to his right hand. Patient 2 regained the ability to sign fluently as hemiplegia resolved. He continues to work with therapy and is learning to understand tactile signs.
Discussion: Motor deficits resulting from strokes are extremely debilitating for the deaf, who primarily communicate through ASL. While deficits resulting from stroke are well studied in the general population, there is a paucity of literature that exists on the effects of stroke in the deaf. Stroke can affect one’s ability to use or understand sign. While several studies have investigated aphasia in the deaf after stroke, few have investigated how hemiparesis impacts communication both during rehabilitation and upon discharge to the community.
Conclusion: Deaf patients with hemiplegia or blindness affecting their ability to use ASL require specialized rehabilitation services, and more research is needed to identify optimal rehabilitation modalities.
Level of Evidence: Level V
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Eldon ER, Freedman R, Klein A. Overcoming Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Challenges in Deaf and Blind Patients: A Case Series [abstract]. PM R. 2020; 12(S1)(suppl 1). https://pmrjabstracts.org/abstract/overcoming-acute-inpatient-rehabilitation-challenges-in-deaf-and-blind-patients-a-case-series/. Accessed September 28, 2023.
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