Management of autonomic dysreflexia in the community

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    Autonomic dysreflexia (AD) is an uncontrolled increase in systolic blood pressure (by 20 mmHg or more) that occurs in those with spinal cord injuries at or above the 6th thoracic vertebrae. It usually occurs in the chronic phase of injury, at between 3 and 6 months after the injury is sustained. Most affected patients live in the community with varying levels of independence and will have contact with community nurses due to potential issues with bladder and bowel management. Therefore, community nurses may come into contact with patients in a dysreflexia crisis requiring prompt emergency treatment. Thus, the aim of this paper is to develop community nurses' understanding of AD so they are equipped with the necessary knowledge to help their clients.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)496-501
    Number of pages6
    JournalBritish Journal of Community Nursing
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2020


    • Autonomic dysreflexia
    • Bladder and bowel management
    • Complications
    • Spinal cord injury
    • Systolic blood pressure


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