Autonomic dysreflexia as a complication of a fecal management system in a man with tetraplegia

J Spinal Cord Med. 2010;33(3):266-7. doi: 10.1080/10790268.2010.11689705.


Background/objective: To present a case of autonomic dysreflexia caused by the use of a fecal management system in a patient with tetraplegia.

Design: Case report.

Setting: Military rehabilitation center.

Results: A man with tetraplegia had a fecal management system inserted to divert stool away from his sacral pressure ulcer to reduce contamination and infection risk. Two days later, he developed severe autonomic dysreflexia that improved after removal of the system.

Conclusions: Autonomic dysreflexia, a life-threatening complication, has not been reported before as a side effect of a fecal management system. These systems should be used with caution in patients with high-level spinal cord injury.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autonomic Dysreflexia / etiology*
  • Drainage / adverse effects*
  • Drainage / instrumentation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quadriplegia / complications*
  • Quadriplegia / rehabilitation*