Spinal meningitis See meningitis

spinal tap The common name for a lumbar puncture, a procedure in which cerebrospinal fluid is removed by using a hollow needle inserted into the lower back, usually between the third and fourth lumbar vertebrae. The fluid is checked for appearance, white blood cells, sugar, and protein in a lab and is also sent for culture, which can help determine what sort of germ is causing symptoms.

While some children fear the thought of a spinal tap, in fact the procedure is not terribly painful. It is a safe procedure when done in a large hospital

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