Bryan Kirkland could always spot a booster. Sweaty arms, shaky legs and “chicken skin” were telltale signs of the dangerous practice, banned from the Paralympics for its performance-enhancing effects.
“All I could do was shake my head,” said Kirkland, 41, a Paralympic gold medalist from Leeds, Ala. “It’s so dangerous, and for what: so you can win a race?”
Like blood doping, boosting increases the amount of oxygenated blood circulating in the body. But instead of using blood transfusions and erythropoietin injections, boosters break their toes, block their catheters and crush their scrotums. Continue Reading »
Reg Penn, who is paralysed from the chest down discusses his distress at the bowel care he recently received
I was 18 years old when my spinal cord was almost completely severed in a road traffic accident in 1975. I’ve some movement in my arms and can breathe by myself, but can’t move my hands or legs.
A district nurse visits me once a day and carries out a manual evacuation. Normally this works fine. However, in 2009, due to a reduction in the amount of time the nurse was allowed to support me I developed compacted bowels. Continue Reading »
Bowel care routines after spinal cord injury must be established and tailored to patients’ individual needs. Policies and procedures need to be regularly reviewed
This case study explores the problems that can occur when patients receive ineffective bowel care following spinal cord injury. It also investigates the implications of using anal irrigation for specialist and generalist nurses, education and audit. Continue Reading »
A bullet remains lodged in Michelle Alexander’s spinal cord nearly six years after her husband shot her four times — instantly paralyzing her — before killing himself in July 2004.
Doctors told her she’d probably never walk again. But a rehabilitation strategy being pioneered at the University of Louisville is changing her fate.
Today Alexander uses a walker to get around, takes tentative steps with two canes and gets on a specially designed treadmill four days a week as part of a research study evaluating Locomotor training, which UofL’s Susan Harkema helped develop to teach lost skills to broken nervous systems.
It’s one of several areas of spinal cord research at UofL and the University of Kentucky, home to two of about 10 large centers for such work in the nation. Continue Reading »
Autonomic Dysreflexia (or hyperreflexia) is a dangerous condition that can occur with bed sore patients or patients with spinal cord injuries above the middle of the chest (usually above T-5). Autonomic dysreflexia occurs when an irritation or pain (frequently caused by bed sores) below the level of the spinal cord injury sends a signal that fails to reach the brain. Continue Reading »
People with spinal cord injury often experience extremes in their blood pressure. Episodes of both very high and dangerously low blood pressures caused by damage to the spinal cord may be associated with a lack of control over blood flow in the brain. This can cause a range of other problems that are directly implicated in heart disease, which is the leading cause of death among people with spinal cord injuries.
In this study from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of B.C. & Yukon, Dr. Victoria Claydon will look at what happens to blood flow in the brain during episodes of extreme blood pressure in approximately 40 people with an injured spinal cord. Continue Reading »
The damage from primary and secondary insults of spinal cord injury can result in various hemodynamic alterations. It is important to understand the presentation and time course of these changes, in addition to the management of each, to avoid further clinical deterioration and complications.
Traumatic spinal cord injury has an incidence of 10,000 cases per year with a prevalence of approximately 200,000 people in the United States.1 These numbers do not account for deaths in the field, which are estimated to occur in 16% to 30% of these cases. The patient demographics mirror that of the general trauma population with the average age around 30 years and a male predominance. Although motor vehicle collisions account for roughly half of all spinal cord injury cases, other events including assaults, falls, work-place injuries, and sporting accidents account for a large portion of the rest.2
Pathophysiology Continue Reading »
A free online webinar from the Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Center featuring Dr. Steve Stiens, M.D.
Autonomic Dysreflexia is a serious side effect for some people with paralysis. It’s a potentially fatal complication that involves hypertension and sometimes leads to intracranial hemorrhage or stroke. Continue Reading »
Being fit means being trim, energized, and confident and this is still important for someone with spinal cord injury.
A fitness program for a spinal cord injury patient can provide strength, education, confidence, and conditioning of mind and body thereby increasing one’s flexibility, cardiovascular, and strength. With all these goals in mind, a person can improve his or her Functional mobility and daily activities and even return to his or her recreational sports or hobbies. Continue Reading »