PROSPECT ADDITION SCI - A PROSPECTive study of Autonomic Dynamic Dysfunction to predict infecTIONs after Spinal Cord Injury
Individuals with Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) are at a much higher risk for developing secondary infections, such as respiratory infections, when compared to able-bodied individuals. This is due to the fact that SCI weakens the individual’s immune system. One of the cornerstone research studies currently being conducted at the Ohio Regional SCI Model Systems Program aims to identify patients ‘at risk’ for acquiring infections after SCI. We expect that the findings of our study will help doctors prevent secondary infections in patients with SCI.
How we collect our data
Heart rate variability (HRV) refers to the variations in the time between an individual’s heartbeat. With the use of heart rate monitors, we are able to detect changes in HRV. Significant changes in HRV indicate that the autonomic nervous system (which controls body functions such as heart rate and blood pressure) is not stable, which can then impact the immune system. Our goal is to determine if early HRV measures can predict subsequent infections in SCI patients. This will improve our ability to prevent infections.