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Recognition and management of autonomic dysreflexia in patients with a spinal cord injury.

Authors
  • Morgan, Sara1
  • 1 Faculty of Life Sciences and Education, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, Wales.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Emergency nurse : the journal of the RCN Accident and Emergency Nursing Association
Publication Date
Jan 03, 2020
Volume
28
Issue
1
Pages
22–27
Identifiers
DOI: 10.7748/en.2019.e1978
PMID: 31820597
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Autonomic dysreflexia is a potentially life-threatening condition that affects patients with a spinal cord injury at the level of T6 or above. It is characterised by uncontrolled elevation of systolic blood pressure of more than 20mmHg, which may occur alongside bradycardia. This article explains the pathophysiology of autonomic dysreflexia, alongside its causes, signs and symptoms. It also details the pharmacological and non-pharmacological management interventions that should be promptly initiated in patients who present to the emergency department with autonomic dysreflexia, to alleviate their symptoms and prevent further complications. © 2019 RCN Publishing Company Ltd. All rights reserved. Not to be copied, transmitted or recorded in any way, in whole or part, without prior permission of the publishers.

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