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Management of Acute AD Episodes

Despite appropriate preventative strategies, AD remains common among individuals with SCI. As previously noted, especially in individuals with cervical or high thoracic injuries, episodes of AD, even accompanied by a significant increase in arterial blood pressure, can be asymptomatic (Linsenmeyer et al. 1996; Ekland et al. 2008; McGillivray et al. 2006).The Guidelines of the Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine for management of AD recommends employing non-pharmacological measures initially; if they fail, and systolic blood pressure continues to be at or above 150 mmHg in adults, 120 mmHg in children under 5 years old, 130 mmHg in children 6-12 years old, and 140 mmHg in adolescents, pharmacological agents should be initiated (Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine 2006).

Figure 3 – Autonomic Dysreflexia Symptom and Treatment care from SCI-BC (https://sci-bc.ca/)