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What can trigger autonomic dysreflexia?

Although not an exhaustive list, the following events or conditions that may be encountered during adaptive diving activities can trigger an episode of autonomic dysreflexia:
  • burns or sunburn
  • blisters
  • insect bites
  • contact with hard or sharp objects
  • temperature fluctuations, such as diving into cold water on a hot day
  • constrictive clothing, shoes, fins, wetsuits or weight belts
  • toes, fingers or other body parts that are pinched or entrapped during wet suit donning, causing noxious stimuli
  • bladder catheters that get kinked during wetsuit donning
The adaptive diver is responsible to maintain a proper bladder and bowel program (preventing fecal impaction and bladder distension) to prevent autonomic dysreflexia. Adaptive divers who are at risk should know that routine urine elimination via indwelling Foley catheter or complying with a regular bowel program to ensure appropriate fecal movement is important to prevent this disorder. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.