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Spinal tap

(7 Posts)
amaliesmor Thu 25-Jun-09 13:43:27


Am just home from hospital after a really quick and good vaginal delivery but I am afraid I ended up having mobile epidural - which shouldn't have been given as the minute it was in I got the urge to push and my daughter arrived about ten mins later! However, the anaesthetist came to see me aftewards to say that she had accidentally hit the spinal fluid chamber and that I had to lie flat and drink three litres of water for two or three days so that the leak could form a scab. It's now day five and I am still experiencing nasty headaches and the hearing in one ear is still affected. Has anyone else had this and how long did it take to get over it? Apparently they can inject blood into the leak to form a stop if it doesn't heal but I am loathe to let them anywhere near my back again! It is so frustrating as I otherwise feel fit as a fiddle and want to get on with looking after my baby and my toddler again.

doulalc Thu 25-Jun-09 16:30:45

The blood patch actually can work very quickly at helping. Some women find they have to be lying down for about week, although most will feel better after just a few days. You might try some drinks with caffeine in them as that often helps. If you aren't feeling any relief in the next day or two consider the blood patch. Hope you feel better soon!

amaliesmor Fri 26-Jun-09 14:51:26

Thanks Doulalc - really hope it will get better soon. My hearing appears to be coming back so perhaps that is a sign that things are mending but I seem to just be getting new pains in idfferent parts of my head. Must get back in to bed now and put my feet up!

Beccabump Fri 26-Jun-09 17:58:32

You poor thing! I had a spinal leak after a lumbar puncture when I had viral meningitis 9 years ago. Unfortunately mine was un-diagnosed for three days and I ended up being rushed back into hospital for 2 weeks of total bed rest.

It is good if your hearing etc is coming back and the headaches are lessening -it took me a good month to be able to stand unaided again and I still have after effects now - I get more headaches, backache at the site etc.

I really hope you feel lots better soon - at least they admitted they made a mistake! The fact you say you are feeling fit otherwise is really good

gasman Mon 29-Jun-09 20:13:57

Headache should last for 2 weeks max.

Blood patches are very effective - 70% get resolution with one, 95% with 2. There is however always a risk of complications from the blood patch. Only you can decide how much your symptoms are affecting you.

If you want more info ask your MW to arrange for you to be seen by the Obstetric anaesthetic staff. They will be able to chat you through all your options.

Grumpy defence medic bit..........
I'm just going to pick Beecabump up on one thing. The anaesthetist did not make a 'mistake'. Poor old amaliesmore suffered a recognised complication of her epidural (a rate of 1:100 is generally quoted in UK centres for dural punctures). There are many reasons why they happen and I suspect strongly the anaesthetist will be feeling dreadful about it.

I know that I have felt awful when it has happened to me and as I've done in excess of 500 epidurals I've done a few........

amaliesmor Tue 30-Jun-09 10:02:52

Hello - thought I would update. day 7 seemed to signal the end of the constant migraine and I was virtually painfree that whole day. Yesterday I got a headache at lunchtime but once I started wearing the back brace again it seemed to lessen and today I feel fine - though still wearing a back brace just to support the spine a bit and make sure if it is healing I am not reopening the wound.

Gasman, what happens to the five percent after 2nd blood patch - are they doomed to a life of constant headaches? I really hope I am now on the mend as I would hate to be in that kind of pain for any longer!

Thanks for everyone's response x

gasman Wed 01-Jul-09 19:55:08

Headaches should only last for 2 weeks.... therefore the 5% who don't respond to a blood patch just have to wait it out.

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