Emergency Care For RSD/CRPS Patients

RSDS/CRPS patient!!!! Handle with care following these guidelines:

No BP cuff on _____ arm (if arm is affected).. No ice on affected region(s).

Dear Staff: Please remember that I have RSDS/CRPS. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSDS), also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic condition characterized by severe, burning pain, pathological changes in bone and skin, tissue and extreme sensitivity to touch. People afflicted with RSDS/CRPS are extraordinary sensitive to stimuli such as movement, touch and injections.

Please ask before touching or performing routine procedures such as taking vital signs or taking blood. Please use the other arm for EVERYTHING if possible. If you must use needles on right arm, use 23g needles.

All options should be tried before using a needle on the affected limb.

Please perform surgery protocols be adjusted so that the pre-op shave be done after anesthesia and necessary catheter is in place for epidural, etc. It feels like being run over by a lawn mower when shaving is performed without anesthesia.

Please warm alcohol or Betadine wipes before use. Wipes can be very cold to patient.

If PICA is available, see if blood can be obtained by the PIC instead of using vena puncture technique.

Be careful not to hit the affected limb.


Whenever possible, patient should be in the quiet part of the hospital.

In a semi-private room, patient should be in the second bed to avoid bumping and/or being disturbed.

A Zone-Air bed should be used and adjusted to patient’s preference.

Heat and air conditioning should be well-regulated.

Standing order should be issued for patient.

A foot cradle will hold bed linens off body area and diminish tactile stimuli

If hospital linens are too irritable, allow family members to bring softer ones from home.