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Epidural Blood Patch

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

An epidural blood patch is a procedure used to relieve a headache caused by spinal fluid leak after a dural puncture. Your healthcare provider will inject a sample of your own blood into your back, near the dural puncture site. The blood will clot, which may patch the leak. An epidural blood patch may also help reduce other spinal fluid leak symptoms. Examples include nausea, vomiting, hearing or vision trouble, or a stiff neck.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You cannot make certain facial expressions, or areas of your face feel numb.
  • You feel dizzy, faint, your ears are ringing, or you have trouble walking.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have a fever that is getting higher or that lasts longer than 2 days.
  • Your headache does not go away or comes back.

Call your doctor or specialist if:

  • You have back or leg pain that does not go away in a few days.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

  • NSAIDs help decrease swelling and pain or fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Self-care:

  • Your headache may improve immediately or within a few days. You may have mild back, neck, or leg pain or a fever for 1 to 2 days after your procedure.
  • Move carefully for a few days. Do not lift anything heavy, bend, or strain for 2 to 3 days after your procedure.
  • Ask about activities. Your healthcare provider will tell you when it is okay to drive, go back to work, and do your regular activities.

Follow up with your doctor or specialist as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.