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What is a blood patch?

1 like 0 dislike
asked May 5, 2012 in Glossary by LarryEitel (1,360 points)
retagged Jun 4, 2012 by LarryEitel

3 Answers

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An epidural blood patch is a surgical procedure that provides immediate relief to the headache caused by leaking spinal fluid. Approximately 15-20 mls of blood is taken from a vein in the patient's arm and subsequently injected into the epidural space in the spine at the site of the spinal fluid leak.

answered May 6, 2012 by Jan B. Wade (4,930 points)

volume of blood

1 cc (cubic centimeter or cm3) is equal to 1 milliliter (mL)

1 US fluid ounce = 29.5735297 ml

So there are 29.5735297 cc's in one fluid ounce.

1 imperial fluid ounce = 28.41 ml

This is something I was Not taught in school.

While working for a small pharaceutical company ( original makers of Pepto Bismol ) -I worked between Imperial, US and Metric - lab's conversion was different than mine -thus I stated the only way that could happen is if ounces were different sizes. They are.

Thus 1 US gallon is 128 US oz but approx 133.5 imp.oz
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The epidural blood patch is a treatment technique used to treat headache caused by lumbar puncture (spinal tap).  When one has a spinal puncture, epidural fluid in the spinal canal can leak out the hole that was created in the Dura mater (tough fibrous membrance covering the brain, spinal cord and lining the inner surface of the skull).  With less fluid in the spinal column the brain tends to sink down, thus causing a headache.  The blood patch is used to seal the hole.

How it works:  A small amount of blood (approximately 25 ml or 0.845 oz.) is withdrawn from the patient and injected into the epidural space over the dural hole.  This procedure clots and seals the hole.  The headache usually resolves immediately.  It is quite safe, but used only after conservative measures have failed, i.e. bed rest, caffeine, fluids and pain medications.
answered Jul 5, 2012 by Paul Loubser, MD (180 points)
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Epidural Blood Patch for the Treatment of Abducens Nerve Palsy due to Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension -A Case Report-.


Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Yonsei University Health System, Seoul, Korea.


Intracranial hypotension is characterized by a postural headache which is relieved in a supine position and worsened in a sitting or standing position. Although less commonly reported than postural headache, sixth nerve palsy has also been observed in intracranial hypotension. The epidural blood patch (EBP) has been performed for postdural puncture headache, but little is known about the proper timing of EBP in the treatment of sixth nerve palsy due to intracranial hypotension. This article reports a case of sixth nerve palsy due to spontaneous intracranial hypotension which was treated by EBP 10 days after the onset of palsy.



Images from this publication.See all images (3) Free text


answered Jul 10, 2012 by Hatice Simsek MD (3,070 points)

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