deep tendon reflexes

  1. Does anyone have any tips on checking reflexes? For me it is usually hit or miss (mostly miss!). Do you use your stethoscope or carry a reflex hammer?
    Do you check the patellar or the brachial?
    Also out of curiosity do you check reflexes every hour while on mag or less frequently?
    Thanks, Jenn
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    About L&DRNJenn

    Joined: Dec '02; Posts: 44; Likes: 6

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  3. by   nurseynightnight
    Hi Jenn!
    I check brachial and patellar. I almost always use a reflex hammer unless I am just too lazy to go find one and happen to have a stethoscope on me. But the stethoscope doesn't work well for the brachial reflex.
    I check while mom is lying down. Support her leg under the knee, tell her to totally relax the leg and then use the reflex hammer right below her patella.

    For the brachial reflex if I am testing her left arm I place my left thumb on the inside of her elbow and have her rest her arm across my left forearm. Then gently tap on my thumb to see the reflex.

    It is kind of hard to write down a description of how to do the reflexes. I am sure if you googled it you could see an actual picture of how to do it.

    We check reflexes every 15 minutes during the initial loading dose, then hourly until they are stable. Then we check every 2 hours.

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