Documentation Tip: Functional Quadriplegia

Posted on Wed, Jun 01, 2016
Documentation Tip: Functional Quadriplegia

By Timothy Brundage, MD

Definition: "Complete immobility due to frailty or severe physical disability”

Documentation of this ailment adds to the Severity of Illness (SOI) of the patient. Functional Quadriplegia is not true paresis, but inability to move due to another medical condition.

Documentation example: Complete immobility due to severe weakness from Multiple Sclerosis; Functional Quadriplegia due to end-stage dementia.

The patient is functionally the same as a paralyzed person who requires total care from nursing including feeding.

Read more about Functional Quadriplegia


Dr. Timothy Brundage is a hospitalist for EmCare at St. Petersburg General Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. Dr. Brundage earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and molecular biology at the University of Michigan, his M.D. at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of South Florida College of Medicine. Subscribe to Dr. Brundage’s weekly documentation tips, or ask him about specific documentation issues, by emailing him at

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