What is a blood patch?


Quick Answer

A blood patch is a procedure that involves drawing a sample of blood from a patient and injecting it beside the puncture site of an earlier spinal tap or epidural block, explains the University of Minnesota Medical Center. This forms a clot that stops the leakage of spinal fluid.

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Full Answer

Following a spinal tap or an epidural block, spinal fluid may continue to leak from the site, resulting in a change in fluid pressure in the spinal cord and brain, explains WebMD. This can lead to an excruciating spinal headache. Treatment involves hydration and bed rest. If these fail to resolve the spinal headache, a blood patch is performed. Patients normally start to feel better within 30 minutes of the procedure, states UMMC.

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