So let's look at what you'll see in your patients when they're going into automatic dysreflexia.
They'll have problems with headaches, visual changes.
They may have some spots in their visual field.
They'll have a strong nasal congestion, it will be hard for them to breathe.
Their skin will look blotchy.
They'll have - be kind of - they'll feel really anxious.
They're kind of really tired and wiped out.
Their systolic and diastolic blood pressure are both going to raise.
Remember since autonomic systems gone awry when trying to fix it,
you end up with this weird sweating especially in their face, neck and shoulders up higher.
Now, they'll have goosebumps below the area of the lesion, so you should see that usually on their lower legs.
The skin is flushing above the lesion especially in their face, neck, and shoulders.
Now, let's - this is just a long list of symptoms.
What I would love for you to do is pause for a minute, take these symptoms
and go back through the steps and see how you can really make that stick in your mind.
Okay. Welcome back. Hopefully it took a little bit of time to line up those symptoms
with the steps that you know that occur in autonomic dysreflexia
with a spinal cord injury and noxious stimuli, like an overfilled bladder.
So what do we do when we're treating this?
Well, you're gonna monitor that blood pressure very closely.
You can look to sit the patient up.
You can assess for signs of autonomic dysreflexia for the cause of it.
What could this possibly be? And this needs to happen quickly. Is it a wound? Is it a bladder?
And usually you'll check the bladder first because that's a very common cause.
Take anything off that's constricting of the patient.
You want them to only have loose clothing on.
When we say go for that bladder first, look for skin breakdown.
Check for fecal impaction is another possibility.
So I would go for the most obvious ones first, bladder, skin breakdown, wounds, etc.
and then consider fecal impaction.
Because you're gonna wanna treat this with some pretty fast acting hypertensive medications as needed.
But deal with the underlying cause, the underlying noxious stimuli
and also work with your healthcare provider about antihypertensive medications.