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Atraumatic needles for lumbar puncture: why haven't neurologists changed?
  1. A Davis1,2,
  2. R Dobson1,3,
  3. S Kaninia4,
  4. G Giovannoni1,2,
  5. K Schmierer1,2
  1. 1Department of Neurosciences, Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University, London, UK
  2. 2The Royal London Hospital, CAG Neuroscience, Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK
  3. 3Hurstwood Park Neurosciences Centre, Brighton and Sussex University Hospital Trust, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, UK
  4. 4The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, UCLH NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Angharad Grace Davis, Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University, 4 Newark Street, London E1 2AT, UK; angharadgracedavis{at}gmail.com

Abstract

Diagnostic lumbar puncture is a key procedure in neurology; however, it is commonly complicated by post-lumbar puncture headache. Atraumatic needle systems can dramatically reduce the incidence of this iatrogenic complication. However, only a minority of neurologists use such needles. In this paper, we discuss possible reasons why neurologists have not switched to new technology, looking more at diffusion of innovation rather than lack of evidence. We suggest ways to overcome this failure to adopt change, ranging from local interventions to patient empowerment.

  • HEADACHE

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    Phil Smith Geraint N Fuller