How to answer Nursing School exam questions on autonomic dysreflexia

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Step 1

Know the signs and symptoms of autonomic dysreflexia. This way you will know what the question is pointint to and what type of  emergency you are dealing with.

An increase in blood pressure by between 20 and 40 mm Hg, a pounding headache, blurred vision and spots in the patients visual field, bradycardia or dysrrhyttmias, profuse sweating, piloerection and flushing above the site of spinal injury. These are signs of autonomic dysreflexia.

Step 2

KNow what might cause it. If you know what causes it, then you can prevent it from occuring as well as know what to check for if you detect signs and symptoms of autonomic dysreflexia.

A full bladder or bladder distention, urinary tract infection , bladder or kidney stones, urinary abnormalities,bowel distention or bowel impaction, constriction of the skin where clothing is scrunched up along with the skin or belts are too tight or shoes are too tightnoxious stimuli like strong smells and pressure.

Step 3

Know what to do. When you know what to do and select the right choices then you are meeting the goals of the test which is to check if you can be a safe nurse and do the right thing in an emergency.

Several things will have to be done including the following (this is being written in no particular order)Check blood pressure see if it is elevatedCheck for bladder distentionSit patient upLoosen clothing and anything constrictiveIf blood pressure is elevated notify the physician.

Step 4

These are a few things to keep in mind when answering questions on autonomic dysreflexia.


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