Paralysis means you can’t move your muscles. When the communication between your muscles and central nervous system is damaged or blocked, it can cause loss of muscle coordination, weakness, and paralysis.
Paralysis can some on gradually or suddenly. Sudden paralysis is a medical emergency. Call 911 and seek immediate medical care if someone near you has become paralyzed. Many cases of sudden paralysis are reversible if appropriate treatment is delivered quickly.
A trip to the ER isn’t planned — it just happens. At Dignity Health Central California, we’re standing by to help all day, every day. Our board-certified doctors, nurses, and emergency services staff are trained to meet your emergency care needs, including treatment for paralysis, in Central California. For less severe emergencies, try InQuicker, our ER waiting service. You can wait at home, not the ER.
Symptoms Related to Sudden Paralysis
The cause of sudden paralysis is sometimes obvious, such as head injury or trauma. In other cases, your doctor will need to know about other symptoms leading up paralysis to determine the cause. Be sure to mention any bites from snakes or insects, exposure to chemicals, ongoing illnesses, and what you have recently had to eat or drink.
Symptoms that are associated with sudden paralysis include:
- Vision problems
- Headache, which may be severe
- Drooping face
- Memory loss
- Problems speaking or understanding speech
- Loss of consciousness, even if very brief
- Problems with balance or walking
Always call 911 and seek medical attention for sudden paralysis.
Common Causes of Paralysis
Sudden paralysis can be a symptom of:
- Toxins, including poison and venom
- Electrolyte or chemical imbalances
- Stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA)
- Brain hemorrhage (bleeding)
- Trauma, including spinal cord injury
- Infections, including tetanus and West Nile disease
- Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare autoimmune disorder possibly triggered by infection
Your Dignity Health Central California doctor may order a variety of tests to help make a diagnosis, including blood tests, imaging exams, in-depth neurological exams, and electrophysiologic testing. Electrophysiology tests measure muscle and nerve function.
After diagnosis, your doctor will help you plan next steps and treatment. Trust our experts to provide personal care for all medical emergencies. Dignity Health Central California offers high-quality care for sudden paralysis in Bakersfield, Merced, San Andreas, and Stockton, CA.