Overcoming Complications of Quadriplegia

Overcoming Complications of Quadriplegia

Introduction     |     Types     |     Complications     |     Recovery Products

Spinal cord injuries are devastating, and depending upon the level of injury, complications can be severe. Quadriplegics suffer from an injury to the spinal cord, usually higher up in the cervical range C1-C6, and do not have the use of their arms and legs. Our bodies have a number of systems (such as the nervous system, etc.) and they work in conjunction with each other to maintain our everyday existence. When one of these systems fails, some serious complications can occur.

What Is Quadriplegia?

Quadriplegia is defined by paralysis affecting all four limbs, two arms, and two legs. This can be brought up by several factors, some of which include illness or injury. Quadriplegia is also known as tetraplegia and usually can lead to partial to full paralysis in all limbs. This loss is usually motor and sensory and differs from paraplegia in a way that paraplegia does not affect the arms. Paraplegia is usually caused by an injury further down the spinal cord.

Types of Spinal Cord Injury

A spinal cord injury can be classified as incomplete which leads to partial paralysis and completes that incorporates full loss of motor function.

Overcoming Complications of Quadriplegia

Quadriplegia Complications

Depending upon the spinal cord injury levels, complications may vary. Obviously, apart from wounds and infections, any injury higher in the spinal cord leads to more severe complications. With quadriplegia comes

  1. The inability of our brain to communicate to our muscles via nerves and move normally.
  2. Due to the lack of movement, quadriplegia causes skin breakdown, leading to pressure sores and a possibility of infection in the long run.
  3. Another dangerous complication of quadriplegia is autonomic dysreflexia. This condition can cause blood pressure to elevate to dangerous levels, increasing the risk of stroke.
  4. Greater risks of slipping into depression
  5. Poor respiratory health
  6. Increased chances of Thrombosis and embolism
  7. Excessive weight gain and obesity
  8. Heightened possibility of type 2 Diabetes  

Quadriplegic Recovery Products

Physical or occupational therapy can be a good approach to quadriplegia recovery. During this time your therapist may recommend several modifications to your home and medical supplies that can help you regain mobility and avoid complications. Here are some of the best gifts for quadriplegic patients:


1. Poly-Fly Lightweight Transport Chair Wheelchair:

For those suffering from quadriplegia, recovering some of their mobility and independence is crucial. This lightweight all-in-one chair can be used as a self-propelled wheelchair or you can simply remove the 24-inch wheels and use this as a transport chair. The deluxe back release folds the backrest down easily for hassle-free storage and transportation. This lightweight sturdy wheelchair comes standard with swing-away footrests and heel loops, as well as two sets of brakes for increased safety.

ShopDrive Poly-Fly Lightweight Transport Chair Wheelchair
Drive Poly-Fly Lightweight Transport Chair Wheelchair

2. Cure Male Straight Tip Pocket Catheter:

A quadriplegic does not have the ability to sense when their bladder is full, making incontinence a major problem. This pocket catheter is one way to empty your bladder (usually on a time schedule). This catheter offers polished eyelets for increased comfort and minimized irritation while being made of quality materials that don’t include DEHP, BPA, or rubber latex. Each intermittent catheter is sterile and recommended for a single-use.

Shop Cure Male Straight Tip Pocket Catheter
Cure Male Straight Tip Pocket Catheter

3. Medline FitRight Ultra Adult Briefs :

The health risks of incontinence are real, so is the embarrassment that may go along with it. These Medline FitRight Ultra Adult Briefs help those afflicted by quadriplegia by providing a discrete, comfortable fit that has a 4D-Core that quickly wicks moisture away from the skin and provides odor protection. The anti-leak guards of these quadriplegic diapers protect against leakage and by removing moisture from the skin diaper rash can be minimized, thereby minimizing the risk of skin breakdown and potential infection.  

Buy Medline FitRight Ultra Adult Briefs
Medline FitRight Ultra Adult Briefs

4. Mabis DMI Wood Transfer Board:

A quadriplegic needs assistance for all transfers. This can be from a bed to a wheelchair or even to a commode. Since someone suffering from tetraplegia cannot assist with this transfer, all the weight-bearing is on the person aiding in the transfer. This can lead to injury to a caregiver or even the patient themselves. This wooden transfer board makes the sliding transfer safer and easier. It is made from ¾ inch maple wood and is sealed to provide a smooth surface for easy transfers. This transfer board can hold a weight capacity of 440 pounds making it the ideal transfer board for just about any patient.

Mabis DMI Wood Transfer Board
Mabis DMI Wood Transfer Board

5.Carex Inflatable Rubber Invalid Cushion:

Sitting for a quadriplegic can lead to health issues down the road. Constant pressure on our skin can lead to reduced blood flow and the potential for pressure sores to develop which can lead to infection. This inflatable cushion contours to the body to distribute weight evenly. Easy to inflate, it is simple and effective when used properly and can be cleaned easily with a damp cloth. Inflate, sit, deflate when done, easy peasy!!

Carex Inflatable Rubber Invalid Cushion
Carex Inflatable Rubber Invalid Cushion

6. Biofreeze Professional Pain Relieving Gel Pump:

Biofreeze Professional Pain Relieving Gel Pump effectively alleviates pain from backaches, arthritis, sore muscles and joints, sprains, strains, and bruises. Its optimized proprietary formula is made with U.S. Pharmacopeia-grade ingredients and is free of parabens and propylene glycol. This pain-relieving gel is also available in a dye-free formula.

Biofreeze Professional Pain Relieving Gel Pump
Biofreeze Professional Pain Relieving Gel Pump

Quadriplegia can be daunting, but by understanding how the body works and working with your therapists and doctors you can recover some of your independence and quality-of-life. Quadriplegia/tetraplegia presents a unique set of challenges that can be battled with the right therapy plan and patient compliance. Recover as much of your independence and mobility as you can do to enjoy life!!


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