Long Term Affects Of Quadraplegic Conditon
Posted 09 February 2006 - 10:37 PM
My dad was a quadraplegic for 46 years. He had a car accident when he was 21 years of age. About six years ago, my dad became depressed after the loss of his mother. He began to stay in bed / wear hospital gown all day. When he woud get up, he started to have episodes where his blood pressure would drop and he would pass out. By merely leaning him back in his chair, he would come to. He never seemed aware that he was having these spells. After being examined by specialist in Chapel Hill, we were told that this was the long term affect of his quadraplegic condition and he would continue to do this until it took him out. My dad passed away last month. The term autonomic dysreflexia was thrown my way a few times. I tried to research and understand what it was. Everything i read on the subject talks about hypertension, not hypotension. Anyone with knowledge or understanding on the long term affect of quadraplegia , hypotension, and, autonomic dysreflexia, please email me. ... firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted 10 February 2006 - 01:14 AM
I suspect that quadriplegia puts an added strain on the body, particularly the cardiovascular system, lungs, and kidneys. I sleep on my back and have been diagnosed with apnea, which untreated increases the likelihood of stroke and heart attack, and I think many long-term quads probably are at greater than normal risk of having it. The usual treatment for apnea is CPAP, to keep the airways open, but in the five months since being diagnosed I've failed to adjust to wearing a mask and having air blown into my nose and/or mouth to keep my airways open. With a nasal mask I cheat by breathing through my mouth, and with a full-face mask I haven't found a balance that allows for a tight seal without skin damage to the bridge of my nose. I mention the apnea only as an example of the sort of added stress with which aging quads probably deal. It, as does autonomic dysreflexia, just makes our hearts work harder.
I'm sorry about your dad and hope you can learn more about what happened to him.
Posted 10 February 2006 - 11:36 AM
I have spells of faintness especially after eating. But when first injured always on getting up for around 2-3 years. Its because our level stops the body adjusting like in able bodied people, the nerves are severed and so the brain cannot tell the heartt to supply more blood when the body position changes from horizontal to vertical. Its saame ass when you have a hot bath and get up out of it quickly, almost everyone goes faint ot passes out.
Have found fennel tea is FANTASTIC at righting my low bp. No side effects of drugs like effedrin it naturally raises bp. Have one after getting up, one beforee eating my main meal. Make suree its a large drink around 500ml or a pint in size too.
AD is high bp, caused by irritatioon usually from bladder, bowel or preessure sores but ttherre are other causes such as dehydration. Yoyr dad would have known aboutt it as you get a SERIOUSLY thumping headache - it can kill as the bp is going up uncontrollably. GTN is a good standby for treat but the cause must be removed .
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Posted 12 February 2006 - 02:11 AM
Hi my wife has been a c5 quadriplegic since 1980, over the last three+ years she has apparantly been "falling asleep" head slumped on chest in her wheelchair and yet when "woken" picks up conversation etc as though nothing is wrong.
Unfortunatley I have not been as understanding of her "sleeping" like this especially on social occasions - all of us around her (AND EVEN AN ENT specialist in June 2205 took no notice of her symptons) we all assumed she was tired - WRONG!
She was actually being poisoned by carbon dioxide as the gas exchange funtion of her lungs deteriorated causing her brain to shut down body functions to protect itself from damage. Eventually in October 2005 she became totally non resposnive even to a torch directed at her pupils (diagnosed at time as a heart attack and probable massive brain damage)
Where are we now - permanently ventilated via tracheotomy, no voice speech due to ventilated pressure requirement to fill lungs/expand diaphragm, requiring 50% oxygen support at all times, prbable permanent loss of carer assisted standing ability, mentally untouched and functioning well yet tortured even more than pre-October etc.
Why the warning?
Well that is because her lung gas exchange function and partial loss of diaphragm function has deteriorated due to being allowed over many years to develop curvature of the spine/slumping to one side in her chair leading to a constriction of her lungs and diaphragm. Physios and I know now specialist anaethetists (who saved her) are all aware of this problem for quads especially but no one tries hard enough to prevent it or warn people that it could happen to them and to try to take preventitive meaures
Please look out early for signs of "falling asleep" and get posture sorted or supported by chair seat or a body brace, extra physio to maintain musculature etc - inconvenient I know but better than the outcome we have at present
To say we are destroyed is an understatement My wife is still in hospital (ICU) but they have started the discharge/bed clearing process to save money as care in the community is cheaper than an NHS Hospital/spinal injuries unit.
At the same time in the UK all my wife's benefits have ceased after 4 weeks in hospital, our petrol bill has gone from virtually 0 to £200+ per month so we are down financially by some £1000 per month with no other support available - result we are having to sell our converted and lovely bungalow to reduce our buidling up debt - thanks UK government
ps does anyone else have views/comments/advice on caring for a quadriplegic loved one on a ventilator? Can it be done at home etc?
Posted 12 February 2006 - 12:34 PM
Posted 26 February 2006 - 10:33 PM
There has been a radical shake up of late in the UK with the Department of Health telling ICU staff about how to manage this area... It's not rocket science and is easily followed.
I hope you find this info useful... i'll check in from time to time if you have any questions regarding this....
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