How is a person that is paraplegic or paralyzed able to breath and live?


In other words: How does he not feel anything and can’t move anything but his head. But the organs and the heart (which is a muscle) and the veins still work but not the nerves and muscles?

In: 6

Short answer. The important nerves are attached higher up and they have damage below a certain point.

Most of your organs are able to run themselves to a large degree without supervision from the brain. Even if your spinal cord is severed, your heart will continue to beat. There can be some problems due to lack of coordination, but they aren’t immediately fatal.

The loss of functionality due to a spinal injury isn’t always total, even if you loose practical use of all of your limbs. Sometimes there is still a limited amount of communication that remains with the body.

Nerves that control the heart and diaphragm are very high up in the neck. Nerves that control your arms and legs are much lower. So exactly where a spine injury occurs determines how much mobility and what functions are impaired.

C3-C5 keeps you alive

Cervical nerves C3 through C5 are responsible for most respiratory and circulatory functions.

So if your spinal damage is above that you are dead, below that then you lose function below whatever nerve is damaged.

I am a quadriplegic and can breathe on my own. Anything about C4 requires the use of a ventilator. I don’t need one. Though I don’t have much use of my body, I can still type with a mouthstick and control the computer well and drive my wheelchair with my head. However to stay alive my position needs to be adjusted every hour due to risk of pressure sores and blood pools to my legs. I can’t cough by myself and my voice is weak. And can’t feel when I need to go to the bathroom.