An epidural catheter may puncture the dura during insertion or patient movement. When one is able to obtain free-flowing fluid, thiopental or pH urine test strips are helpful in distinguishing cerebrospinal fluid from local anesthetic or saline. However, one cannot always obtain free-flowing fluid from an epidural catheter and, in some instances, one can only obtain several drops of epidural aspirate. If only a few drops are obtained, the aspirate will contain a large percentage of the solution injected. This study demonstrates the usefulness of glucose test strips in detecting small volumes of cerebrospinal fluid diluted with saline or local anesthetics.
- Test strips
- dural tear
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