Babrinski? Did I spell that right? : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

If I remember correctly: when Carol overdosed, she had a positive Babrinski, and that was bad; when Carter was stabbed, he had a negative one, and that was good. I know it has something to do with downward pointing toes (I think) but can someone explain to me exactly what it's all about?

-- Jennifer M. (, March 30, 2000


It's called Babinski's sign... it's a very simple test for spinal injury. You run a finger (or sharp object, something producing a light scratch) up the sole of the foot. If there's no spinal injury, the person's toes will contract (clench?)... that's a negative Babinski's sign (what Carter had). If there is a problem, the person's toes will splay out instead. That's a positive babinski's sign and is not good. I am not a doctor, I just watch ones who play them on TV...

-- debbie (, March 30, 2000.

Also, an interesting fact. . . when babies are born, they all have a positive Babinski reflex, which disappears somewhere between six minths and two years.

-- joy (, March 30, 2000.

when my pediatrician checked my baby's reflexes - he said that on a baby the toes should be down going and on an adult they should spread out so when they ran the blade up Carol's foot and her toes pointed down that was a "positive Babinski".

-- Linda (, March 30, 2000.

I must have spinal damage then (news to me!) because when I tried Babinski's on myself, my toes went down! :-)

-- debbie (, March 30, 2000.

Don't worry you don't have a spinal injury :). You have it the wrong way around. If your toes point down thats a negative result which is good!!!. It your toes flex up and outwards that's the positive result!....not good :). This reflex is there for a reason(i think), say if you step on something sharp the reflex causes your foot to curle up and lift off the painful object so you don't hurt yourself further. This seems a fairly reasonable explination but I'm not sure how valid it is??? don't quote me on this one :)

-- Emma (, March 31, 2000.

I can see doing this test on Carter, who had possibility of a spinal chord injury. Why would they do this to Carol? Was it to check brain function?

-- Leigh (, April 01, 2000.

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