An exaggerated response of ANS to nerve irritation/noxious stimuli below level of injury (T6).
Occurs in pts with injury above T6. The ANS will increase BP which cause HR to increase. then the HR drops. eg. Overfull bladder, constipation.
Signs & symptoms: sudden pounding headache, diaphoresis, flushing, goosebumps, chills, anxiety, tachycardia followed by bradycardia
Common causes: blockage in catheter; bowel impaction; bunched up clothing
Tx: Get Help! And find cause quickly and alleviate it; keep pt upright with head elevated to keep BP lower. Remove anything restrictive to reduce BP. Unkink catheter, smooth out clothes.
Life threatening – risk of seizure, stroke, fatality. Don’t leave them alone.
Autonomic dysreflexia=high BP, Low HR