Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Brain & Nervous System Health Center

Font Size

Living With a Spinal Cord Injury - When to Call a Doctor

There may be a time when you have a medical emergency and need to contact a doctor.

Be prepared to call your spinal care injury provider,911, or other emergency services if you or the person with the spinal cord injury has the symptoms of autonomic dysreflexia, which causes sudden very high blood pressure. If it isn't treated promptly and correctly, it may lead to seizures, stroke, and even death. Symptoms include:

Recommended Related to Brain & Nervous System

General Information About Adult Brain Tumors

An adult brain tumor is a disease in which abnormal cells form in the tissues of the brain. There are many types of brain and spinal cord tumors. The tumors are formed by the abnormal growth of cells and may begin in different parts of the brain or spinal cord. Together, the brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system (CNS). The tumors may be either benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer): Benign brain and spinal cord tumors grow and press on nearby areas of the brain. They...

Read the General Information About Adult Brain Tumors article > >

  • A pounding headache.
  • A flushed face and/or red blotches on the skin above the level of spinal injury.
  • Sweating above the level of spinal injury.
  • Nasal stuffiness.
  • Nausea.
  • A slow heart rate (bradycardia).
  • Goose bumps below the level of spinal injury.
  • Cold, clammy skin below the level of spinal injury.

Call911or other emergency services if you fall or have another accident and you notice:

  • Swelling on a part of your body where you have no feeling or movement.
  • Increased muscle spasms or other signs of spasticity.

Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of a urinary tract infection. These include:

Depending on your level of injury, you may also feel burning while urinating and/or pain or discomfort in the lower pelvic area, belly, or lower back.

Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of pneumonia. These include:

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) to 106°F (41.1°C).
  • Shaking chills.
  • Cough that often produces colored mucus from the lungs. Mucus may be rust-colored or green or tinged with blood. Older adults may have only a slight cough and no mucus.
  • Rapid, often shallow, breathing.
  • Chest wall pain, often made worse by coughing or deep breathing.
  • Fatigue and feelings of weakness (malaise).
  • Increased muscle spasms or other signs of spasticity.

Call your doctor for an appointment if you have a pressure sore and:

  • The skin is broken.
  • The sore has increased in size or is draining more.
  • It has increased in redness, or black areas are starting to form.
  • It starts to smell bad, or the drainage becomes a greenish color.
  • You have a fever.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 17, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    nerve damage
    Learn how this disease affects the nervous system.
    senior woman with lost expression
    Know the early warning signs.
    woman in art gallery
    Tips to stay smart, sharp, and focused.
    medical marijuana plant
    What is it used for?
    senior man
    boy hits soccer ball with head
    red and white swirl
    marijuana plant
    brain illustration stroke
    nerve damage
    Alzheimers Overview
    Graphic of number filled head and dna double helix