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eTHANKS Module Topics

The eTHANKS health care training modules include the following topics regarding the secondary complications of spinal cord injury.


Module One: Pressure Sores

This module has 6 units that provide information about pressure sores following spinal cord injury:

  • overview of the skin
  • characteristics of the four Stages
  • early signs of pressure sores
  • common areas of pressure sore development
  • risk factors, preventative measures, common complications, and treatments

Module Two: Circulatory System

This module has 3 units that provide information about the circulatory system following spinal cord injury:

  • overview
  • circulatory complications
  • symptoms, preventative measures, and possible treatments for circulatory issues such as edema, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, orthostatic hypotension, and decreased heart rate

Module Three: Urinary System

This module has 7 units that provide information about the urinary system after spinal cord injury:

  • overview
  • urinary complications
  • neurogenic bladder
  • symptoms, preventative measures, and treatments of reflexive bladder and flaccid (areflexive) bladder
  • symptoms, preventative measures, and treatments for autonomic dysreflexia and sphincter dyssynergia
  • types of catheters
  • straining maneuvers and bladder pressure
  • symptoms, prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections & other urinary tract issues such as reflux, dysreflexia, and kidney stones
  • symptoms, prevention and treatment of bladder issues like irritable bladder, bladder stones, and bladder cancer
  • tests that assess the urinary tract such as cystocopy, a cystometrogram (CMG), urinalysis, and an intravenous pyelogram (IVP)

Module Four: Neurogenic Bowel

This module has 3 units that provide information about the bowel after spinal cord injury:

  • overview
  • neurogenic bowel
  • the regular bowel program for a relexic bowel
  • the regular bowel program for an areflexic bowel

Module Five: Respiratory System

This module has 3 units that provide information about the respiratory system after spinal cord injury:

  • overview
  • symptoms, preventative measures, and possible treatments for respiratory conditions such as atelectasis, pneumonia, pleural effusion
  • negative pressure ventilators
  • positive pressure ventilators
  • tracheostomy

Module Six: Spasticity

This module has 2 units that provide information about spasticity:

  • overview
  • advantages
  • disadvantages
  • preventions and treatments
  • oral medications, injections, and intrathecal options

Module Seven: Emergencies

This module has 6 units that provide an overview, describe the symptoms, offer some preventions, and discuss treatments for the following medical issues that may occur after spinal cord injury and that could develop into emergency situations :

  • autonomic dysreflexia
  • decreased heart rate
  • unstable angina
  • hypertension
  • orthostatic hypotension
  • pulmonary embolism
  • atelectasis
  • pneumonia
  • pleural effusion
  • empyema
  • ileus
  • urinary tract infections and complications
  • deep vein thrombosis
  • pain issues
  • pressure sores
  • bloodstream infections

Module Eight: Altered Sensation and Pain

This module has 6 units that provide an overview of altered sensation, classifications of pain, pain in relationship to the level of injury, the descriptors of pain, and pain management.

  • altered sensation
  • sensory modalities
  • hypersensitivity
  • allodynia
  • hyposensitivity
  • neurological pain
  • SCI pain, central pain, dysesthetic pain, diffuse pain
  • transitional or segmental pain
  • radicular or root or nerve root entrapment
  • syrinx pain or syringomyelia
  • nociceptive pain
  • musculoskeletal pain
  • visceral pain
  • pain in relationship to level of injury...above, at, and below the level of injury
  • descriptors of pain
  • pain management
  • medications
  • modalities
  • modification of activities and behavior


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