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Hi, I have a question regarding my son's health. I took him to see a doctor because he had high fever and complained of headaches for two days. The doctors took his blood and urine and did all sorts of tests, but they just can't determine the cause of his high fever. Now they say that they have to do a spinal tap as well. What kind of condition can be diagnosed with spinal tap? Can you also tell me how is this procedure done?

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Hi, spinal tap is a diagnose procedure used to determine the condition of spinal fluid. This is the fluid that surrounds our brain and spinal cord. If there is some kind of infection of the nervous system, it can be detected in the spinal fluid. The most common infection that is diagnosed with spinal tap is meningitis. This condition can be caused by bacteria or viruses. The symptoms your son is experiencing may be the signs of meningitis. That is why the doctor ordered lumbar puncture. This can be a painful procedure and local anesthetics are used to lessen the pain. The doctor inserts a needle between the vertebrae to collect spinal fluid. You should know that there is not a chance for spinal cord injuries because the needle is inserted in the lower back under the spinal cord level. The results are usually attainable after forty eight hours. If the spinal tap shows that your son has some kind of infection, the doctor will immediately start proper treatment.
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