To examine the effects of prolonged (> 24 h) intrathecal catheterization with the use of postoperative analgesia on the incidence of post-dural puncture headache (PDPH), charts of 45 obstetric patients who had accidental dural puncture following attempts at epidural block were reviewed retrospectively. Three groups were identified: Group I (n = 15) patients had a dural puncture on the first attempt at epidural block, but successful epidural block on a repeated attempt; Group II (n = 17) patients had a dural puncture with immediate conversion to continuous spinal anaesthesia with catheterization lasting only for the duration of caesarean delivery; Group III (n = 13) patients had an immediate conversion to spinal anaesthesia and received post-caesarean section continuous intrathecal patient-controlled analgesia consisting of fentanyl 5 micrograms.ml-1 with bupivacaine 0.25 mg.ml-1 and epinephrine 2 micrograms.ml-1 with catheterization lasting > 24 h. No parturient in group III developed a PDPH. This was substantially lower (P < 0.009) than the 33% incidence for group I and the 47% incidence for group II. The incidence of a PDPH did not differ between group I and II. Similarly, there was no difference between group I and II with regard to requests for a blood patch. Patients receiving continuous intrathecal analgesia had excellent pain relief, could easily ambulate and none complained of pruritus, nausea, vomiting, sensory loss or weakness. In conclusion, indwelling spinal catheterization > 24 h with continuous intrathecal analgesia following accidental dural puncture in parturients may for some patients be a suitable method for providing PDPH prophylaxis and postoperative analgesia.
A greater number of patients experienced a quicker onset of headache relief, without any new complications, from treatment with SPGB versus EBP. We believe that SPGB is a safe, inexpensive, and well-tolerated treatment. We hope that clinical trials will be conducted in the future that will confirm our findings and allow us to recommend SPGB for PDPH treatment prior to offering patients EBP.
Epidural blood patch is a standard treatment for obstetric patients experiencing a severe post‐dural puncture headache. Patients who sustained an accidental dural puncture during establishment of epidural analgesia during labour or at caesarean delivery were randomly assigned to receive a prophylactic epidural blood patch or conservative treatment with a therapeutic epidural blood patch if required. Eleven of 60 (18.3%) patients in the prophylactic epidural blood patch group developed a post‐dural puncture headache compared with 39 of 49 (79.6%) in the therapeutic epidural blood patch group (p < 0.0001). A blood patch was performed in 36 (73.4%) of patients in the therapeutic group. The number of patients who needed a second blood patch did not differ significantly between the two groups: 6 (10.0%) for prophylactic epidural blood patch and 4 (11.1%) for therapeutic epidural blood patch. We conclude that prophylactic epidural blood patch is an effective method to reduce the development of post‐dural puncture headache in obstetric patients.
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