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About Me

My name is Dr Caroline Ariaens and I am a Specialist Anaesthetist working at Waikato Hospital in Hamilton, New Zealand.  I am also a Mum of three children - Charlotte, Jack and Emily.

I am passionate about providing high quality and evidence based information for healthcare users and clinicians.

I first created a website about breastfeeding and anaesthesia during my obstetric anaesthetic fellowship at Auckland City Hospital.  You can find that website here.

I hope this new website will help people who are experiencing a headache after a spinal anaesthetic or an epidural as well as their whānau and the clinicians caring for them.

Please email me if you have any questions, comments, or other feedback:

For more information about anaesthesia for pregnant people, please see here.

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  • Ansari J et al.  Chronic disabling postpartum headache after unintentional dural puncture during epidural anaesthesia: a prospective cohort study.  British Journal of Anasthesia 2021; 4:600-7

  • Basurto O, Osorio D, Bonfill C.  Drug therapy for treating post-dural puncture headache (Review).  Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015; Issue 7.

  • Bateman B et al.  Post dural puncture headache.  UpToDate 2021

  • Boonmak P, Boonmak S.  Epidural blood patching for preventing and treating post-dural puncture headache (Review).  Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010; Issue 1.

  • Janvier A, Russel R.  Postpartum headache – diagnosis and treatment.  BJA Education 2022; 22(5): 176-81

  • Maranhao et al.  The association between post-dural puncture headache and needle type during spinal anaesthesia: a systematic review and network meta-analysis.  Anaesthesia 2021; 76: 1098-1110

  •  Mims S et al.  Long-term morbidities following unintentional dural puncture in obstetric patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis.  Journal of Clinical Anesthesia 2022; 79

  • Olsen K, Screws A, Vose S.  Blood patch in a Jehovah’s Witness: case report of a novel arterial-to-epidural closed-circuit technique.  A&A Practice 2018; 10(8): 201-3

  • Schug S et al.  APM:SE Working Group of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and Faculty of Pain Medicine (2020), Acute Pain Management: Scientific Evidence (5th edition), ANZCA & FPM, Melbourne

  • Sidhu N et al.  The association between labour epidural case volume and the rate of accidental dural puncture.  Anaesthesia 2021; 76: 1060-7

  • Silva L et al.  Epidural blood patch in Jehovah’s Witness: two cases report.  Revista Brasileira De Anaestesiologia 2003; 53(5): 633-9

  • Thon et al.  Efficacy of therapies for post dural puncture headache.  Current Opinion Anesthesiology 2024; 37(3): 219-226

  • Vallejo M et al.  Postdural puncture headache: a randomised comparison of five spinal needles in obstetric practice.  Anesthesia & Analgesia 2000; 91:916-20

  • Vallejo M, Zakowski M.  Post-dural puncture headache diagnosis and management.  Best Practice & Research Clinical Anaesthesiology 2022; 36:179-89

  • Van Zyl T, Klar G.  An update on effective management of the postdural puncture headache.  Anaesthetic Tutorial of the Week 2021

  • Youssef H et al.  Sphenopalatine ganglion versus greater occipital nerve blocks in treating post-dural puncture headache after spinal anesthesia for caesarean section: a randomised clinical trial.  Pain Physician Journal 2021; 24: E443-451

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