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How can a Nurse prevent Spinal Anesthesia Headache?

Students   (2,509 Views | 4 Replies)

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I am researching this for a Perioperative assignment and I cannot find the answer from the Nurses perspective. Thank you in advance!

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delawaremalenurse specializes in Occ. Hlth, Education, ICU, Med-Surg.

227 Posts; 8,018 Profile Views

I would start looking from the perspective that, as a Nurse, you should not be focusing on "preventing" an issue (e.g you administer coumadin to reduce the risk of developing a thrombus....not prevent). You provide nursing care directed at "reducing the risk" of acquiring or experiencing an issue.

Think of it this way....to "prevent" is an absolute term. It either occurs or it doesn't...by "reducing the risk" you still may experience or not experience an issue but you did not commit yourself to a dedicated performance.

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metal_m0nk is a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU.

920 Posts; 13,501 Profile Views

There are a few things you can do for spinal headache.

1. Call the doc and (unless contraindicated) request an order for IV fluids to increase fluid pressure. Caffeine can also help with this.

2. Help the patient maintain bedrest.

That's all I got.

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brillohead has 5 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Cardio-Pulmonary; Med-Surg; Private Duty.

1,781 Posts; 23,102 Profile Views

Tell the anesthetist to not screw it up?

Draw blood for a patch and have the anesthetist administer it?

The HA is caused by leaking fluid, and there's nothing that the nurse can do to prevent that from happening, to the best of my knowledge.

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2 Articles; 11,114 Posts; 15,664 Profile Views

Yep. The anesthesiologist ought to have used a smaller needle. The best thing you can do for the patient now is advocacy: get the anesthesiologist to come do the blood patch now. Not tomorrow morning before rounds, not after dinner, not let it go for three weeks because it will close on its own by then, NOW. It's one of the two worst headaches you'll ever have in your life, prevents people from getting up (think: complications of bedrest) and makes you miserable. Blood patch takes two minutes to do, twenty minutes of rest to work, and ... done. (Been there, done that.)

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