Continuous external lumbar subarachnoid drainage is a useful therapy in the treatment of dural fistulae. Nurses have a vital role in monitoring patients with lumbar drains for complications and in maintaining integnty of the system The nursing role is discussed in this article, with special emphasis placed on recognition and treatment of the most serious complication, tension pneumocephalus.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to the author at: Suite 2, Ramsey Clinic. 640 Jackson Street. St. Paul. Minnesota 55101. She is a neurosurgery nurse clinician.
© 1990 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses