What is frazier free water protocol? - Benefits, Instructions & Guidelines

What is Frazier free water protocol?

The Frazier Free Water Protocol is a therapeutic strategy developed to give patients access to oral hydration while lowering their aspiration risk. Aspiration happens when liquids or food fragments enter the airway and lungs as opposed to traveling through the esophagus and stomach. 

Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, can be caused by stroke, neurological problems, or anatomical abnormalities. These disorders hinder swallowing, causing dehydration, malnutrition, and respiratory infections. The Frazier Free Water Protocol is a methodical method for reintroducing water for oral consumption that enables patients to enjoy the benefits of drinking water without risking their safety.


For patients with dysphagia, applying the Frazier Free Water Protocol can have a number of advantageous effects. Some major advantages include:

The capacity to consume water orally can improve patients' general well-being, satisfaction, and independence.

Oral hydration can cause pleasant emotional reactions and provide people a sense of normalcy and comfort, which has psychological advantages.

Benefits of oral water intake for hydration include moistening the oral cavity and aiding in the absorption of medications, in addition to physiological benefits.

The process of swallowing water can be used as a therapeutic exercise for the swallowing muscles, possibly resulting in improved swallowing performance over time.

What is frazier free water protocol - Benefits, Instructions & Guidelines


The guidelines listed below should be adhered to in order to ensure the safe application of the Frazier Free Water Protocol:

Patient Selection

The Frazier Free Water Protocol might not be appropriate for all dysphagic patients. A speech-language pathologist or dysphagia expert must do a full swallowing assessment to evaluate patient eligibility for the protocol. The patient's cognitive abilities, dysphagia severity, and capacity to follow directions should be considered.

Precautions and Contraindications

Before putting the Frazier Free Water Protocol into practice, a few precautions and contraindications should be taken into account. Candidates may not be appropriate for patients with uncontrolled oral secretions, recurrent aspiration pneumonia, or cognitive deficits that make safe oral ingestion impossible. Individuals with tight fluid limits or those who require thickened liquids for comfortable swallowing should be excluded from the regimen as well.

Assessment and Documentation

Before beginning the Frazier Free Water Protocol, a thorough assessment and documentation are essential. This involves testing the patient's ability to swallow using a variety of techniques, including a bedside swallowing assessment, a modified barium swallow study, or a fiberoptic endoscopic swallowing examination. The baseline swallowing status of the patient and any specific suggestions must be recorded in order to track progress.

Initiating the Frazier Free Water Protocol

Starting with little amounts of water and keeping a close eye on the patient for any signs of aspiration or anxiety are imperative while implementing the regimen. The patient can adjust to oral intake safely by gradually increasing the amount of water over time. During this stage, adequate supervision and routine swallowing function assessments are required.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The safety and effectiveness of the Frazier Free Water Protocol must be continuously monitored, and the patient's progress must be evaluated. Patient outcomes can be improved with frequent follow-up visits, swallowing exams, and protocol adjustments, if needed. Collaboration between medical experts is essential for successful implementation, including nutritionists, nurses, and speech-language pathologists.


Following specific instructions and paying close attention to detail are requirements for putting the Frazier Free Water Protocol into action. The procedure is described in the steps below:

Evaluation: A speech-language pathologist or other healthcare expert performs a thorough assessment of the patient's swallowing function and risk factors.

Medical Team Collaboration: To assess whether the Frazier Free Water Protocol is appropriate, the speech-language pathologist works with the patient's medical team, which also includes doctors and dietitians.

Patient Education: The patient and their carers are informed about the protocol's purpose, rules, and safety concerns. For compliance and understanding to be achieved, clear communication is vital.

Initial Trial: A supervised preliminary trial is carried out in which the patient is given a limited amount of water to drink while adhering to particular rules. The speech-language pathologist pays particular attention to the patient's coughing and swallowing reflexes.

Progress: If the first attempt is successful and the patient can swallow safely, the volume of water is gradually raised in accordance with each person's tolerance and clinical judgment.

Ongoing Evaluation: Regular monitoring and evaluation are carried out to determine the patient's progress, make any necessary corrections, and ensure the protocol's ongoing safety and efficacy.

What is frazier free water protocol? - Benefits, Instructions & Guidelines What is frazier free water protocol? - Benefits, Instructions & Guidelines Reviewed by Simon Albert on June 09, 2023 Rating: 5
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