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Lumbar puncture

Sometimes a lumbar puncture, also known as a spinal tap, is needed to make a diagnosis. Some cerebrospinal fluid (lumbar fluid) is extracted from the back. A lumbar puncture is sometimes performed during the course of the treatment to see what effect the treatment has. Occasionally, a lumbar puncture is necessary for administering chemotherapy. Lumbar punctures are done under sedation, so your child will feel nothing of the procedure.

Cerebrospinal fluid is found within the tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. A hollow needle is inserted between two vertebrae into the cerebrospinal fluid space just behind them. The cerebrospinal fluid is collected in a tube.


The examination and the sedation are explained prior to the actual procedure. The medical pedagogical care provider prepares your child and explains what will be done during the procedure.

The examination

Your child lies on their side with bent knees. A sample of the cerebrospinal fluid is removed from the back through a hollow needle and then examined in the laboratory.


Your child must lie flat for two hours after the puncture, so without a pillow. A plaster has been applied to your child's back. If the puncture site is sensitive, your child is given paracetamol. If clear fluid seeps out of the puncture site or if your child has a fever, contact the department.

Should you need any further information, please feel free to ask.