Blood Patch For Spinal Headache

There are various cases where you will find yourself undergoing a spinal injection. The most common case of spinal injection includes therapeutic spinal injections, epidural during labor and diagnostic spinal tap. After this procedure, some patient may experience spinal headache. It can be severe especially when you stand up. There are cases when the pain is disabling, you get dizzy and nauseous and your vision even gets blurry.

This headache often occurs when the spinal fluid leaks into the epidural space. One way of treating such complication is through an epidural blood patch. An epidural blood patch procedure involves the use of your fresh blood injected into the epidural space to seal the leak and once the leak is sealed then the headache starts to go away.

The injection of blood only takes about five to ten minutes though you have to stay in the hospital for about an hour and half. You will have to be prepared before the actual procedure and you have to stay in the recovery room for a couple of minutes. The only medication use in this procedure is a local anesthetic to numb the area where the blood will be injected. You will be fully awake while the blood patch is done.

Procedure of Epidural Blood Patch is simple. You will lie down in your stomach in the procedure table. You will be closely monitored with your blood pressure and oxygen levels all throughout the procedure. A fluoroscope will be use by an x-ray technician to your lower back and they will work along with your doctor to ensure that the injection of blood is injected in the right area.

Your back will be cleaned thoroughly with an antiseptic. A blood will be drawn from you which will be injected into the epidural space. A 15 to 25 cc will be injected. After the procedure, you will rest for about thirty minutes before a nurse will assist you to stand up and start walking several feet. The headache usually starts to fade away right after the procedure.

How effective is the procedure? The epidural blood patch brings relief to headache through stopping the leak and this procedure is effective in ninety to ninety-seven percent of cases. This has been proven and is supported with a study which is published at Anesthesia and Analgesia.