Introduction Using atraumatic needles for diagnostic lumbar puncture (LP) reduces the incidence of post-LP headache, but they are not commonly used in UK practice (Davis, 2014). We aimed to identify the reasons for this in our Trust and develop an appropriate teaching programme.
Methods We identified 28 trainees in one DGH for whom LP is an essential procedure (CMTs and medical SpRs). They completed a structured questionnaire between November and January 2015.
Results there were 17 (60.7%) completed questionnaires. The concept of a pre-prepared LP kit was rated 9.6 on a 10-point desirability scale. 14 (64.7%) respondents had never used the existing pack, and it was rated 2.7 on a 10-point usability scale. 14 (82.4%) respondents took more than 16 minutes to locate additional equipment. 3 (17.6%) respondents were aware of the benefits of atraumatic needles.
Conclusion we subsequently secured funding from the Deanery for an appropriate teaching package. This included lecture slides and practice with mannequins and has been delivered three times. We re-designed LP packs to include all necessary equipment, making pencil-point needles and protocols accessible. Cutting needles have been removed from the Trust. The success of these interventions are being assessed with a repeat questionnaire.