What are the signs and symptoms of autonomic dysreflexia due to pressure injuries (pressure ulcers)?

Updated: Mar 26, 2020
  • Author: Christian N Kirman, MD; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Answer

Autonomic dysreflexia is a disordered autonomic response to specific stimuli. It includes sweating and flushing proximal to the injury, nasal congestion, headache, intermittent hypertension, piloerection, and bradytachycardia. Patients with midthoracic spinal cord lesions are most prone to this response. When autonomic dysreflexia is suggested, the patient is first positioned with the head up and monitored for changes in heart rate and blood pressure. Then, the precipitating stimulus must be removed.


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