Epidural Blood Patch

An epidural blood patch is when a small amount of blood is used to seal a puncture site in the spine as a result of a spinal tap procedure . The patch helps restore normal pressure in the spinal fluid.

  • Call Your Doctor


    After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

    • Continued pain or discomfort after 24 hours
    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Limb weakness, numbness, or unusual sensations
    • Trouble emptying bladder or bowels
    • Stiff neck

    In case of an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.

  • Definition


    An epidural blood patch is when a small amount of blood is used to seal a puncture site in the spine as a result of a
    spinal tap procedure
    . The patch helps restore normal pressure in the spinal fluid.

    Spinal Tap
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  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    This procedure is done to relieve a spinal headache that does not go away on its own. A spinal headache can develop after a spinal tap procedure when too much spinal fluid leaks internally and reduces pressure in the spine.

    This procedure is quite common and relief is often immediate.

  • Possible Complications


    Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have an epidural blood patch, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

    • Bleeding
    • Bad reaction to the anesthesia, contrast dye solution, or sedative medication—light-headedness and/or wheezing
    • Infection


    Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

    • Taking blood thinners prior to the procedure
    • Current infection

    Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the epidural blood patch.