Symptoms Sending Patients to the ER May Point to a Neuromuscular Condition

When people go to an emergency room with serious health symptoms like difficulty breathing or double vision, they may not realize the underlying cause of the symptom is a neuromuscular condition. In fact, a significant percentage of emergency department admissions are attributable to neuromuscular disorders. Often, patients are referred to a general neurologist for more diagnostic testing and treatment. However, ER physicians may save patients time and doctor visits by referring them directly to Austin Neuromuscular Center.

“We specialize in providing comprehensive neuromuscular and electrodiagnostic medicine,” said Dr. Hannah Machemehl. “We diagnose and treat peripheral neuromuscular diseases such as ALS, myasthenia gravis, CIDP or Guillain-Barre syndrome, peripheral neuropathy, inflammatory myopathy, hereditary amyloidosis, and dysautonomia.”

Emergency Room Presentations That May Suggest Neuromuscular Conditions

Most Central Texas area neurologists have long wait times for appointments. Instead of a general neurology referral, emergency room physicians may consider referring patients directly to ANC for consultations when they see these symptoms:

  • Respiratory problems
  • Dysphagia suspected secondary to neuromuscular disorder
  • Double vision and ptosis that are suspected to be caused by a neuromuscular disorder
  • Elevated CPK (creatine phosphokinase) or rhabdomyolysis
  • Muscle weakness suspected secondary to nerve or muscle disease
  • Paresthesia suspected secondary to nerve disease/neuropathy

“Patients who experience these symptoms are usually sent to see a neurologist, then they ultimately end up at ANC where our focus is neuromuscular conditions,” said Dr. Machemehl. “We would love to help streamline their care and see them in our clinic sooner so they can get the diagnosis and treatment they need.”

Our center is equipped with several neuromuscular diagnostic tools that can only be found at ANC in the Austin area.

ANC’s Neuromuscular Diagnostic Tools:

  • Electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies
  • In-house nerve and muscle biopsies and pathology
  • Lumbar punctures for neuromuscular diagnosis
  • Nerve and muscle ultrasound
  • Skin biopsies for the evaluation of small fiber neuropathy
  • Tilt table for autonomic nervous system testing (ANST)

Learn more about the diagnostic tools we use at ANC here or call us at (512) 920-0140. And follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram for important updates.