Donald Corenman, MD, DC
Post count: 8436

This patient has an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) that has caused injury to the circulation of the spinal cord. An AVM is a direct connection between the arteries and veins. Normally, the artery feeds the capillaries. These capillaries feed oxygen and nutrients to the nerves of the spinal cord. The veins then take away the deoxygenated blood.

An AVM bipasses these capillaries and dumps the oxygenated blood directly into the vein. This can starve the cord of energy and cause damage to the cord.

This patient with a C2 cord injury has no ability to breathe on his own due to the loss of the phrenic nerve (C3-5) which supplies the diaphram. There might be some chance of nerve recovery but this will take time (up to three months or more) to determine that. That is a long time for someone to continuously squeeze that ambubag to keep this patient alive.

Dr. Corenman