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Anaesthesia. 2008 Jan;63(1):36-43.

Accidental dural puncture and post dural puncture headache in obstetric anaesthesia: presentation and management: a 23-year survey in a district general hospital.

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  • 1Arrowe Park Hospital, Upton, Wirral, CH49 5PE, UK.


Post dural puncture headache can be a debilitating complication of epidural and subarachnoid anaesthesia for a new mother. In a survey of 18,337 epidurals and 5021 subarachnoid blocks performed for obstetric procedures over a 23-year period in a district general hospital maternity unit, there were 167 recognised accidental dural punctures after epidurals (0.91%), with 147 patients (88%) developing post dural puncture headache. In addition there were 52 post dural puncture headaches after subarachnoid blocks (1.04%). Successful management of accidental dural puncture and post dural puncture headache requires adherence to clear policies and protocols, with close follow-up of patients by an experienced obstetric anaesthetist.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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