The Aword

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Autonomic Dysreflexia

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  • Keep catheter equipment clean and draining freely
  • Empty bladder routinely
  • Follow a regular bowel programme (try to keep stool soft)
  • Check skin daily
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing
  • Check for painful stimuli
  • Empty bladder and bowel before sexual activity and consider using medication
  • Carry an Alert card

What to do during an attack:

1.     sit up or raise the head of the bed IMMEDIATELY

2.     look for the cause of the irritation: check bladder/bowel/skin

3.     remove the cause

4.     catheterise /check catheter for kinks/empty bag: note: empty bladder slowly to avoid spasms; is an infection present?..treat as advised by physician

5.     if there is stool in the rectum, apply numbing gel, wait 5 minutes and remove stool gently.

6.     Loosen tight clothing; remove any sharp objects in pockets or on seat; reduce irritation from cuts/burns etc. with cold cloth and medication; trim ingrowing toenails after first anaesthetising the area (treat infection if present)

7.     If AD occurs during sexual activity, check for pressure on testicles or penis; stop, sit up and rest.