When a patient has a persistent spinal headache, an epidural blood patch may help relieve the symptoms. The cerebrospinal fluid cannot form a clot, and so any procedure that causes a hole or tears in the Dural sac may cause a leakage of fluid. The blood patch plugs this defect and allows the body to maintain normal pressure.
Before the procedure, your child will be evaluated to ensure the blood patch is warranted. If sedation is required, your child will need to be fasting for an appropriate amount of time.
The procedure takes place in the Interventional Radiology room. Local numbing medicine is used after cleaning the patient's back. Under image guidance, the needle is advanced to the desired location. Once the needle is in the desired location, an IV is started, and 20 mL of the patients' blood is obtained. This blood is then injected into the epidural space.
Most patients feel results within a few hours of the procedure. The first injection is 80% effective. A second procedure is needed in a small number of patients, and this is 95% effective.