Lumbar Puncture Essay

860 Words4 Pages
Crystal Hawkes
October 11, 2010
Lumbar puncture is the approach resulting in the safe and successful removal and measurement of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) made on the basis of an individual patient assessment. Lumbar puncture is also called a spinal tap, spinal puncture, thecal puncture, and rachiocentesis (, 2005). This is a procedure to collect and look at the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The needle is placed in the lumbar section of your spine (L1-L5) to collect a sample of the CSF to test for blood cell counts, protein, glucose, the color, pressure of CSF, and other substances that may impact the function of the spine and brain (Rea, 2008).
Lumbar puncture is done to find a cause to the symptoms possibly caused an infection, such as meningitis, inflammation, cancer, or bleeding in the area around the brain or spinal cord, such as subarachnoid hemorrhage. Also, this may diagnose certain diseases of the brain and spinal cord, such as multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barre syndrome (Rea, 2008). Depending on the pressure of the CSF, it may be the leading cause of certain symptoms. This may be done to put anesthetics or medicines into the CSF, these medicines would treat leukemia or other forms of cancers that affect the central nervous system (Rea, 2008).
A patient would need to go through steps to prepare for the procedure. The first step would be to discuss with your doctor if you are taking daily medications and if so should you take the medication on the day of surgery, if you are allergic to any food or medications, if you are having bleeding problems or on blood thinner, such as aspirin or Coumadin, and if you are/might be pregnant or nursing. On the day of surgery you will need to have an empty bladder. Your doctor will have you sign a consent form and discuss the risks and how the procedure will be done and the results.

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