178 Atraumatic lumbar puncture campaign - effect on complications


To assess the impact of the usage of atraumatic lumbar puncture needles on lumbar puncture complications across the United Kingdom, following the national atraumatic lumbar puncture needle campaign which commenced in 2015


A retrospective cross-sectional audit of regional datasets was employed.


All patients undergoing a lumbar puncture for both therapeutic and diagnostic purposes at regional neuroscience centres.


We requested hospital episode statistics (HES) from all regional neuroscience centres in the United Kingdom (32 sites). Through freedom of information (FOI) requests we asked the centres to provide the number of epidural blood patches procedures, post-lumbar puncture headaches and lumbar puncture needle procurement orders over a four-year period (2015–2018). A surrogate complication rate was cal- culated by the sum of the complications divided by the total procurement orders.


Of all sites 32 sites, 16 centres provided usable datasets. Between the period of 2015–2018 there was a non-significant decrease in complication rates when using atraumatic lumbar puncture needles (p=0.14).


The study did not show a statistically significant decrease in the complication rates over the specified period, supported by previous work suggesting poor adherence to atraumatic needle usage.