During the month of July, SRNA will share information, resources, and stories in support of Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) Awareness Month. AFM is a rare neurological condition, mostly affecting children, that causes limb weakness and can lead to paralysis. AFM abnormalities noted on MRI are predominantly found in the gray matter (lower motor neuron) of the spinal cord. It is important for everyone to #KnowTheSigns of AFM:
- Sudden arm or leg weakness
- Sudden loss of muscle strength
- Sudden loss of reflexes
Other possible signs and symptoms include:
- Difficulty moving the eyes or drooping eyelids
- Facial droop or weakness
- Difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech
- Pain in the arms, legs, neck or back
Severe symptoms involve respiratory failure. It’s also possible to experience life-threatening body temperature changes and blood pressure instability.
AFM is a medical emergency, so it is critical that parents, pediatricians, and emergency care physicians know the signs. If you know a child who has any of the signs or symptoms listed above, seek medical care as soon as possible.