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Spinal Cord Injury

– occurs usually in young males, between the ages of 15- 30.

– a cervical injury or an injury above the level of C4 would cause a decrease in respiratory function.

– A pt. with cervical fracture might be placed in a traction or uses a skeletal tong.

  • Types of Tongs. ♦
  1. Gardner Wells
  2. Crutchfield
  3. Vinke

Remember : ♦ Clients in tongs need to be moved carefully as a “whole unit” (log roll)

Complications with a SCI patient:

♣ Spinal Shock

  • causes a decreased heart rate.
  • low BP
  • flaccid paralysis

Autonomic Dysreflexia or Hyperreflexia

– occurs in patients with injury in the T6 or higher.

causes the patient to have:

  • Headache
  • Bradycardia
  • Hypertension
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Cold Dry


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