Is a spinal tap safe, or are there side effects?
As with most tests, there are a few risks. They’re minor and include:
- Headache. About 10% of people get one that gets worse when you sit or stand and feels better instantly when you lie down. If you get one, lie down as much as possible and drink plenty of fluids.
- Infection. The risk is very low.
- Bloody tap. Sometimes the tap may pierce a small blood vessel, so blood mixes with the CSF. You won’t need treatment for it, but you may need another spinal tap later to get a "clear" sample.
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