Epidural Blood Patch
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Reasons for Procedure
- Bad reaction to the anesthesia, contrast dye solution, or sedative medicine (eg, light-headedness, low blood pressure, and/or wheezing)
- Taking blood thinners prior to the procedure
- Current infection
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Your doctor will do a thorough physical exam and explain the risks and benefits of the procedure.
- Discuss all allergies with your doctor.
- You will need to sign a consent form.
- Arrange for a ride home.
- You may be asked to stop eating and drinking for 2-6 hours before the procedure.
- If possible, you will be asked to stop taking aspirin , anti-inflammatory medicines, certain supplements (eg, vitamin E ), and blood-thinning medicines for up to 10 days before the procedure. Discuss stopping these medicines with your doctor.
- You may be asked to avoid certain herbal supplements prior to the procedure, such as fish oil .
- Take your other medicines as usual.
Description of the Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- You will be taken to a recovery room for a few hours.
- You will be asked to lie flat and still.
- You will be monitored and given IV fluids.
- After a few hours, you will be asked to get up and move around slowly.
- Continue bed rest and gradual gentle movement for the first 24 hours.
- For 2-3 days, avoid sudden movements, lifting, or strenuous physical activity.
- Drink plenty of fluids. You may eat a normal diet.
- Return to your activities as tolerated.
- Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions .
Call Your Doctor
- Continued pain or discomfort (beyond 24 hours)
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Limb weakness, numbness, or unusual sensations
- Trouble emptying bladder or bowels
- Stiff neck
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org/
American Family Physician http://www.aafp.org/
International Anesthesia Research Society http://www.anesthesia-analgesia.org/
Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society http://www.cas.ca/
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Canada http://www.sogc.org/index%5Fe.asp
Krovvidi H, Hasan M. Epidural blood patch. CPD Anaesthesia . 2003;5(2):94-97.
Newton Wellesley Hospital. Epidural blood patch. Newton Wellesley Hospital website. Available at: http://www.nwh.org/clinical-centers/pain-management-service/services-provided/epidural-blood-patch/ . Accessed June 17, 2010.
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Epidural blood patch. University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health website. Available at: http://www.uwhealth.org/healthfacts/B%5FEXTRANET%5FHEALTH%5FINFORMATION-FlexMember-Show%5FPublic%5FHFFY%5F1105110029981.html . Accessed June 17, 2010.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 06/2013 -
- Update Date: 06/20/2013 -