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Use of Emla for a lumbar puncture (spinal tap)

Your child is scheduled for a lumbar puncture. This procedure takes place under sedation. Besides being sedated, your child will be treated with EMLA to numb the puncture area of the skin. EMLA is an anesthetic cream that you can apply yourself before the procedure. The pharmacy at the Máxima Center will dispense the EMLA along with appropriate plasters.

Applying EMLA cream

Apply the EMLA cream at least one hour in advance of the procedure. You can leave the cream on for five hours. If your child is not yet one year old or has sensitive skin, you can remove the EMLA cream after one hour. The skin will remain numb for another two hours.

How much:
Use approximately half a tube's worth (2 grams) per time.

With your child sitting up straight, place your index fingers on either side of the pelvis. From there, draw an imaginary straight line to the middle of your child's back (Image 1). You can also check for a small scar from a previous puncture.

From there, apply the cream up and down in a 2 cm wide line. (Image 2). Then adhere two of the supplied plasters, overlapping like tiles, over the cream (Images 3 and 4).

* Before the lumbar puncture, the nurse will check whether the skin is properly anesthetized. If necessary, the nurse will apply some more EMLA cream.
* The plasters are not removed until your child is under sedation.


Should you have any questions, please contact the doctor's assistants at phone number 088 9727272.