Did a wee google cause it sounds like one of my nightmares come true. Found loads of scary, confusing, very medical and incomprehensible (to an alien swamp monster like me anyway) stuff and this blog - quite reassuring I think.
AFAIK the difference between the two is not to do with the drugs used but the location of the needle when the fluid is injected. An epidural bathes the nerves in anaesthetic as they pass out of the spinal cord while a spinal actually numbs them at the cord itself giving a more complete block.
I have just read through loads of sites and a fair few scientific papers.
That worrying stuff you posted Cali really does seem to be worst case scenario.
Most of the stuff I read seems to suggest that leakage is apparent within 24 hours post removal. Non treated leaks cause other symptoms, headaches dizziness etc. Treatment of leaks spotted on that timescale seem to involve hospital stays of only 3-5 days.
Has she had any other symptoms before the fit that you know of?
I am wondering if it is an infection rather than a leak?
Whatever it is, I am sending vibes across the ocean and keeping her in my thoughts.
I had leaking spinal fluid after my epidural, resulting in what they call a spinal headache. The day after giving birth I couldn't sit up without getting a shocking headache, which immediately went away when I lay down.
They "fixed" me by giving me a blood patch which is where they inject your own blood into the spinal column, replacing the lost fluid.
Unfortunately mine didn't close the hole properly, and I was on bed rest for a week when I got home before the headache went. I can imagine that if the headache was untreated, and you weren't able to stay lying down, it may well result in a fit or collapse. Hope your friend's wife recovers soon.