Autonomic dysreflexia develops in individuals with a neurologic level of spinal cord injury (SCI)
at or above the sixth thoracic vertebra causing pulmonary edema, renal insufficiency, my cardial infarction, cerebral hemorrhage, and, ultimately, death. Complications associated with autonomic dysreflexia result directly from sustained, severe peripheral hypertension.
I have had this happen to me. My mom had to call 911 and take me to the hospital because I was found unconscious in bed. Not only did we fail to recognize the symptoms of AD, the hospital by my house didn’t know what was wrong!! After 3 weeks there I was finally able to go to the Tampa VA Hospital SCI Unit where we quickly learned I had a severe bowel blockage, that could have killed me!
Even after we were told everyday and even had to take a class about AD before I could leave the Tampa VA Hospital SCI Unit, after my initial 4 month stay there. We found out the hard way why it is very important to have this card on your person always! I don’t wish this for anyone.