Complications of Closed Continuous Lumbar Drainage of Cerebrospinal Fluid
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Sixty three patients who had a lumbar subarachnoid catheter placed for closed continuous cerebrospinal fluid drainage and the complications are presented. The drain was successful in achieving the desired goal in 59 patients (93,6%). The complications are mainly divided into 3 groups; A – complications related to alterations in CSF drainage rate, B – complications due to mechanical failure of the catheter, C – infection. The overall complication rate is found to be 44,4%. Overdrainage, pneumocephalus and meningitis are found to be the most severe complications, but most of these complications are reversible with early recognition. Unfortunately one patient died following meningitis and hepatic failure. Lumbar subarachnoid drainage is a safe method unless the development of any neurological findings should prompt rapid discontinuation of lumbar drainage and immediate radiographic evaluation.
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