What should the nurse do when a patient has quadriplegia and is in spinal shock?

This is an often overlooked question that needs to be answered.

The answer is not always simple, but it can be addressed with some clarity by understanding the underlying principles of nursing care for this type of injury.

The first thing that you need to know about quadriplegia and spinal shock is that there are different types of paralysis.

There are three main types: upper motor neuron, lower motor neuron, and mixed (combination) paralysis which affects both sets of nerves.

In general, people who have a complete loss or severe impairment from all four limbs will have upper motor nerve paralysis as their primary diagnosis.

People who have a complete loss or severe impairment in one limb will have lower motor nerve paralysis as their primary diagnosis.

If someone is paralyzed from the neck down.

For example, they would be quadriplegic and most likely suffering from upper motor neuron paralysis.

If someone has a broken arm that leaves them without use of an appendage (limb).

Then this person would have mixed paralysis with some form of lower motor neuron damage to compensate for the lack of function in one area.

And when you’re caring for these patients.

It’s important to know what type of injury caused their condition!

When a patient suffers spinal shock after being involved in any incident involving trauma, there are two major signs: cold extremities and decreased blood pressure issues.


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