Autonomic Dysreflexia cards can save a life

DSCN2652One of the side effects of an SCI is Autonomic Dysreflexia.  AD is an over-activity of the autonomic nervous system.

The reflex resuts in spasms and a narrowing of the blood vessels.  This causes a rise in blood pressure.  A message is then sent to the brain which sends messages to the heart.  This caues the heartbeat to slow down and the blood vessels above the level of injury to dilate.  But the brain cannot send messages below the level of injury and therefore the blood pressure cannot be regulated.

The condition can be life threatening.  It can impair heart rate, breathing, digestion, etc.  It  usually occcurs when an injury is above the T6 level.

The Reeve Foundation has developed wallet size informational cards.  These give a quick summary of what it means, what happens during an episode, and what to do when it does.  The info can also be downloaded.

Information from

Photo:  the laminated card

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Karen
Karen Koehler, partner at the nationally recognized law firm of SKW, blogs about all things related to spinal cord injuries...More
SKW on Facebook
Follow Us

Add this blog to your feeds or
subscribe by email using the form below.

Join 3 other subscribers

Favorite Quotation
On Another's Sorrow
Can I see another's woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief,
And not seek for kind relief.

Can I see a falling tear.
And not feel my sorrows share,
Can a father see his child,
Weep, nor be with sorrow fill'd.

Can a mother sit and hear.
An infant groan an infant fear?
No no never can it be,
Never never can it be

And can he who smiles on all
Hear the wren with sorrows small
Hear the small bird's grief & care
Hear the woes that infants bear

And not sit beside the nest
Pouring pity in their breast.
And not sit the cradle near
Weeping tear on infant's tear.

And not sit both night & day.
Wiping all our tears away.
O! no never can it be.
Never, never can it be!

He doth give His joy to all:
He becomes an infant small,
He becomes a man of woe,
He doth feel the sorrow too.

Think not thou canst sigh a sigh,
And thy Maker is not by:
Think not thou canst weep a tear,
And thy Maker is not near.

O He gives to us His joy,
That our grief He may destroy:
Till our grief is fled and gone
He doth sit by us and moan.

— William Blake