First described in 1909, and then used for treatment of various types of headache and facial pain, the sphenopalatine ganglion block may offer a novel, simple and less-invasive treatment for post-dural puncture headache.
Very little has been published, primarily case studies, case series and retrospective audits. This limited data does however suggest that the technique may be as effective as the traditional epidural blood patch, though with significantly fewer risks.
Larger studies are however needed to properly define the block's role in treating PDPH.
Publications describe a trans-nasal approach, either sitting or supine. First topicalising with co-phenylcaine spray, then placing 2%-4% viscous lignocaine-soaked cotton-tipped applicators for 10 minutes, and finally repeated for a further 20 minutes. Success appears to range from 30-70%.
The mechanism of action may result from parasympathetic blockade at the SPG, resulting in reversal of the cerebral vasodilation thought to be associated with post dural puncture headache.summary
The World Health Organisation's Surgical Safety Checklist has been adopted and implemented by many hospitals throughout the world: from large tertiary teaching hospitals in wealthy countries, to small hospitals in low-resource settings.
The benefits to each hospital however are likely not the same. Does the WHO SSC implemented in a hospital that already has a 'Time Out' process bring the same benefit, if any, as to a hospital for which the checklist was completely new? Possibly not.
Several studies across a wide range of health systems have shown conflicting results in terms of reducing morbidity, mortality and length of stay.summary
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