SCI Care

Autonomic Dysreflexia|
Medical Emergency

Autonomic Dysreflexia also known Hypereflexia is the body’s way of telling you there is something painful below the Spinal Cord Injury. You will know your going Dysreflexic from a realy bad headache caused by a sudden 5ise of blood pressure. You may start sweating and get red patches on skin. Once you have found and treated painful area Dysreflexia will almost stop immediately. This is only a brief overview of Autonomic Dysreflexia please see the more detail link below for more information.

Autonomic Dysreflexia in  More detail…

Pressure Care & Prevention

The best way to care for a pressure area is to prevent one.

It is easy to achieve adequate pressure relief while in bed or in a wheelchair. Special cushions and mattresses are essential for your specific needs.

in bed you can be turned to relieve pressure and whilst on your side someone can rub your back to help blood circulation. Using a pillow placed under your side between turns can relieve pressure from each side. When in your wheelchair change your angle to shift your weight, putting your feet up will also help.

Respiratory Care

A cough assist machine is a valuable tool used to reduce chest infections in ventilated quadriplegic persons. Used at a minimum of once daily it is sufficient to retrieve phlegm and secretions from the lungs allowing clearer airways. It can be used more often if a temperature is present and the secretions are thicker and darker in color indicative of an infection that is brewing in the lungs.

The cough assist machine is not only just for people who are ventilated or have a tracheotomy’s it can also be used via a face mask.

Bladder care

To keep a healthy bladder it is recommend drinking lots of water so your bladder keeps flushing as you want to keep your urine looking as clear as possible. It is possible to tell from the colour and odor if bacteria s breeding in your urine eventually causing a urinary tract infection (UTI). Drinks that lower the acidity(ph) of the urine such as urals will help prevent and manage urinary tract infections cranberry juice helps as well, though drinking to much of this you will find yourself putting on weight so instead switch to cranberry tablets.


I have passive range of motion on my limbs every morning as this helps maintain flexibility by stretching unused joints and muscles. It also helps increase and improve circulation which stops blood pooling in your extremities.


If you are able to move your arms there are plenty of ways to get exercise such as hand cycle.


It is very easy to become overweight as a quadriplegic due to lack of exercise and keeping old bad eating habits. The  only way to stay a healthy weight is to eat well and drink 2 to 3 liters of water a day.

I found myself overweight after eating lots of junk food but quickly realized this wasn’t the way to stay healthy.  I now stay away from processed foods and take away and try to eat a whole food diet, meal prepping is great for this as you don’t have to worry about preparing dinner every night. Portion size is also a big factor to staying a manageable weight, only eat the amount of food your body can use up before your next meal.


I Make sure I am dried properly in every area, I don’t want places missed as moist areas are a good breeding ground for bacteria. Moist skin can cause the skin to weaken and it can split easily to cause sores.


I wear clothing that lets the skin breathe such as cotton. Nylon, silk and satin do not let air circulate which contributes to heat rashes and places for bacteria to grow. Make sure clothing is not too tight and check back pockets for buttons, sitting on them can cause pressure sores.

On cold days I wear double thermal this keeps my temperature from dropping which can be dangerous.

Tips and tricks

how to beat the heat!

when you go out on a hot day take a spray bottle and when ever you get hot give yourself a spray down.