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4 Possible Complications from a Lumbar Puncture

Also called a "spinal tap," a lumbar puncture is a routine procedure in which a doctor inserts a needle into a patient's lower spine to collect a sample of cerebrospinal fluid, which can then be evaluated for signs of multiple sclerosis, meningitis and even cancer.



Although this procedure is common, there are several potential complications that can arise. These complications often happen when doctors perform a lumbar puncture negligently.


If you suffered an unexpected complication after a lumbar puncture or another spinal procedure, contact the Bowling Law Firm. David A. Bowling is a medical malpractice attorney in New Orleans who will evaluate your case to determine if medical negligence contributed to your injury.


You may be entitled to compensation for health-care bills, lost income and other damages. Call 877-757-3539 to schedule a consultation. You can also visit to learn more about medical malpractice lawsuits in Louisiana.


4 Possible Complications from a Spinal Tap Procedure


Medical malpractice occurs when a health-care professional provides a standard of care that is below the acceptable standard of care within his or her specialization. Medical negligence takes many forms, one of the most common being negligent surgical preparation.


Surgeons are required to follow specific protocols before, during and after a spinal tap procedure. If they overlook an important step in any phase of this operation and the patient suffers an injury as a result, then the surgeon or the health-care facility may be liable for damages.


Common signs of medical negligence during and after a lumbar puncture include:


1.     Headaches after the procedure, which are often caused by a leak of cerebrospinal fluid into nearby tissues;

2.     Discomfort, tenderness or pain in the back or down the back of the legs;

3.     Bleeding near the puncture site or in the epidural space; and

4.     Brainstem herniation, which is a serious condition caused by increased pressure within the skull.


Although most instances of medical malpractice are entirely out of the patients' control, there are steps that you can take to reduce your risk. Be sure to share the following information with your surgeon before your lumbar puncture:


1.     The names of any supplements, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications you are taking;

2.     Any allergies, especially to anesthesia;

3.     If you have recently taken any blood-thinners such as aspirin, warfarin or clopidogrel; and

4.     If you are pregnant.


If you or a member of your family was injured by a negligent doctor, nurse or pharmacist in Louisiana, turn to the Bowling Law Firm. David A. Bowling is a medical malpractice attorney in New Orleans with more than 30 years of experience.


Our law firm is AV-rated under Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system. Mr. Bowling will help you arrange an independent medical evaluation and testimonies from medical and financial experts to support your claim. Call 877-757-3539 today to schedule a consultation.

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