Hey ya’ll, Amanda here with another informative article to help you be a better EMT. Today we’re talking about the different types of paralysis. Knowing the various types of paralysis is useful not only for testing purposes but for documenting a patient’s vitals once you’re an EMT (which you totally will be)! 

What is paralysis?

Paralysis is the complete or partial loss of muscle function. Paralysis is commonly caused by strokes or injuries such as spinal cord injuries or a broken neck. 

What is hemiplegia?

Hemiplegia refers to paralysis and loss of strength to one side of the body. 

What is paraplegia?

Paraplegia refers to the paralysis of the legs and lower body, typically caused by spinal injury or disease. People who are paraplegic need a wheelchair to stay mobile. 

What is quadriplegia?

Quadriplegia refers to paralysis of all four limbs— this includes legs and arms. 

What is monoclegia?

Monoclegia refers to the paralysis of a single limb— usually an arm or a leg. Sometimes the paralysis is even limited to a single muscle. Though monoplegia impedes function, most people who are monoclegic are able to perform daily tasks. 

A word on working with those living with disabilities;

The medical profession as a whole has a lot of work to do to accommodating people with disabilities. People with disabilities are often placed in a box of ‘other’ and are treated far worse than people who don’t live with disabilities. As an EMT it is your duty to combat ableism and discrimination so that your patients with disabilities feel seen and heard. 

Learning the different types of paralysis is essential knowledge for any EMT student or EMS professional. 

I hope you learned something today and can transfer this knowledge out in the real world.

Take care.


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