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Patient HelpBook

Blood Patch

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Blood patches are performed by an anesthesiologist at a hospital for treatment of a persistent headache (spinal headache) and nausea that sometimes follows a spinal puncture. These symptoms do not occur frequently. The blood patch procedure consists of an injection at the spinal tap site of a small quantity of your own blood. The introduction of this blood acts to patch the hole in the dura (the outer membrane of the spinal cord) that was created by the needle at the time of myelography.

Spinal headaches are characterized by severe, unremitting head and neck ache that gets worse when you are in the upright position. This type of headache may also cause vomiting. If you think you have a spinal headache, you should lie absolutely flat and drink as many clear, non-caffeinated liquids as you can tolerate. If the headache is not gone or significantly better in 48 hours, please call the doctor’s office to arrange a blood patch.

You will receive two billings. One bill from the hospital for the procedure, and one from the anesthesiologist who performs the procedure.


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