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Related to tetraplegia: paraplegia


paralysis of all four limbs; motor and/or sensory function in the cervical spinal segments is impaired or lost due to damage to that part of the spinal cord, resulting in impaired function in the upper limbs, lower limbs, trunk, and pelvic organs. This term does not include conditions due to brachial plexus lesions or to injuries of peripheral nerves outside the spinal canal. Called also tetraplegia. adj., adj quadriple´gic.
Patient Care. The quadriplegic patient has major sensory and motor deficits and is therefore subject to the many problems associated with immobility and loss of sensation. (See hazards of immobility.) The immediate goal of care is the prevention of complications that can affect all body systems, and maintenance of the integrity of the body systems so that optimum rehabilitation can be achieved. The extent to which the patient may eventually achieve mobility in a wheelchair and some degree of independence is greatly affected by the caliber of care received and the motivation and drive of the individual patient.

Mechanical devices such as braces are helpful in compensating for the loss of muscular function. physical therapy procedures and techniques and occupational therapy are essential aspects of patient care and are vital to the attainment of the goals of rehabilitation. (See also paraplegia.)

Patient education is especially important to the long-range goal of prevention of serious complications. Patients and their families should be aware of the early signs and symptoms of breakdown of the skin (pressure ulcer), fecal impaction, a developing infection, and urinary difficulties. As with any type of long-term care, these patients should be medically evaluated periodically and their care should be under the supervision of a visiting nurse. In spite of the many difficulties that may be encountered by paralyzed patients, it is possible for them to lead useful and personally rewarding lives.


Paralysis of all four limbs.
Synonym(s): tetraplegia
[quadri- + G. plēgē, stroke]


/tet·ra·ple·gia/ (-ple´jah) quadriplegia.


(tĕt′rə-plē′jə, -jē-ə)
tet′ra·ple′gic adj. & n.


paralysis of the arms, legs, and trunk of the body below the level of an associated injury to the spinal cord. This disorder is usually caused by spinal cord injury, especially in the area of the fifth to the seventh vertebrae. Automobile accidents and sporting mishaps are common causes. This condition affects about 150,000 Americans, the majority of whom are men between 20 and 40 years of age. Signs and symptoms commonly include flaccidity of the arms and the legs and the loss of power and sensation below the level of the injury. Cardiovascular complications also may develop from any injury that damages the spinal cord above the fifth cervical vertebra because of an associated block of the sympathetic nervous system. A major cause of death from such injury is respiratory failure. Other symptoms may include low body temperature, bradycardia, impaired peristalsis, and autonomic dysreflexia. Diagnosis is based on a complete physical and neurological examination with radiographic pictures of the head, chest, and abdomen to rule out underlying injuries. Spinal x-ray examinations and CT scores and MRI are usually done to evaluate the extent of the injury. Also called quadriplegia. Compare hemiplegia, paraplegia.
interventions Treatment starts at the accident scene, where the patient's neck and spine are immobilized. Additional immobilization at the hospital commonly includes the use of halo traction. Steroids may be administered to decrease spinal cord edema. Surgery is commonly performed to fuse unstable spinal sections and remove bone fragments.
nursing considerations Nursing care includes maintaining adequate respiration and blood pressure according to the Guidelines for Management of Spinal Cord Injury, maintaining the integrity of the GI system, preventing complications such as hypothermia, bradycardia, catheter obstruction, and fecal impaction. A quadriplegic patient who suffers hypothermia is wrapped in blankets instead of being warmed with hot water bottles or electromechanic devices because such devices can burn the skin of the patient experiencing severe sensory loss. Abdominal binders and antiembolism hose are used when the patient is placed in an upright position. Patients who develop bradycardia are commonly connected to a cardiac monitor and intravenously administered an antimuscarinic drug, such as atropine. Fecal impaction may cause hypertension and is always a possible complication.


Paralysis of all four limbs.
Synonym(s): tetraplegia.
[L. quadrus, four + G. plēgē, stroke]


Quadriplegia. Paralysis of all four limbs.


paralysis of all four extremities; quadriplegia.
References in periodicals archive ?
Training of the respiratory muscles in individuals with tetraplegia.
The myometer was assessed for reliability in people with tetraplegia prior to the commencement of the trial.
Frequently, participants positioned their injuries in relation to others less fortunate--particularly people who had tetraplegia whose situation was "tough," "brutal," and "wicked" and "thinking how it could have been" was one of the things used to make oneself "feel better.
Spine or Spinal Paraplegia, tetraplegia, quadriplegia, spinal Cord Injury lesion, spinal cord compression, spinal cord damage.
This device was designed specifically for people who have disabilities affecting their communication and motor abilities such amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, locked in syndrome, spinal cord injuries, tetraplegia, and some cases of traumatic brain injuries.
This suggests that patients may still hold this particular hope, no matter what information their physiotherapist or other health care professional provides them with, and is an interesting finding in light of other literature that suggests walking is not always the highest priority after SCI, especially in those people with tetraplegia and chronic SCI (Anderson 2004, Simpson et al 2012).
The gadget, called Mobile Music Touch (MMT), was successfully used by individuals with limited feeling or movement in their hands due to tetraplegia.
Campbell and Koris (11) described the etiology of shoulder pain in 24 veterans with SCI tetraplegia (30 shoulders).
1995) investigated whether people with a high level of tetraplegia had better perceived quality of life, health status, and lower cost of care depending on whether they used agencies for their caregivers or independently hired and trained their caregivers.
She was instantly paralysed and she is now in a permanent state of complete tetraplegia.