Adults With Physical Disabilities

Cara B. Siegel Paul J.W. Tawney

Spinal Cordlniury AutonomicDysreflexia

Urinary Tract,, Infection

AcMteAbdomen

Syringomyelia

ImmpbilizationHypercalcemia HeterptppicOssification Brain,,Iniury

Posttraumatic,,, .H.yd,roc.ep.h,al.us

Ce.reb.rovascMlaLAc.cid.ent

Leg.Pain

Chapter, References

Advances in medicine and surgery have prevented the deaths of many injured and sick patients. Although they survived, many such individuals live with significant impairments and disabilities. Some estimates are that 5 to 10 percent of the total population of the United States has major disabilities. Persons with disabilities seeking medical care in an emergency department (ED) may present with problems that are specific to their impairment or with signs and symptoms different from those that would occur in a nondisabled patient. The individual who is disabled is not unable, and every effort should be made to obtain the history directly from the patient. Do not automatically direct questions to persons with the disabled individual without first finding out whether the patient is capable of giving accurate responses. It is helpful to sit down and speak to a patient in a wheelchair at eye level, and to make an effort to use a dysphasic or dysarthric patient's communication system so that they may tell their story.

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