PT031 - Atraumatic diagnostic lumbar puncture

The EBPB were asked to look at the evidence for the use of atraumatic needles in diagnostic lumbar puncture (DLP). 

The EBPB noted a clear clinical benefit to using atraumatic needles for DLP, through a reduction of post-dural puncture headache (PDPH). Economic analysis suggests that
despite the increased cost of atraumatic needles, cost savings could be achieved through PDPH reduction. The EBPB agreed that even without the potential for cost savings,
patients would still benefit from this change in needle design.

The EBPB therefore make the following recommendations:

  1. Welsh Health Boards and Trusts should switch to using atraumatic needles (e.g. pencil-point) instead of conventional needles (e.g. Quincke) to carry out DLP.

The EBPB Evidence Review Group (ERG) have issued an Evidence Review (available as a PDF download) and the EBPB have issued an Advice Statement (available as a PDF download).

If you become aware of a substantial change in the evidence base or circumstances related to this published advice, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who will then consider whether a further review is necessary.


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