Glossary Entry: Spinal Drainage Catheter


Definition: A spinal drainage catheter is a medical device used to remove cerebrospinal fluid from the spinal canal to reduce pressure and monitor intracranial and spinal cord conditions.

Detailed Description

Types and Variations

Variations: There are different types of spinal drainage catheters, including lumbar and ventricular catheters, each designed for specific applications in managing conditions such as hydrocephalus, traumatic brain injury, or subarachnoid hemorrhage.


Common Uses: Spinal drainage catheters are commonly used in patients with conditions like hydrocephalus, intracranial hemorrhage, or meningitis, where monitoring and managing intracranial pressure and cerebrospinal fluid levels are crucial.

Insertion and Placement

Procedure: The insertion and placement of a spinal drainage catheter require meticulous attention to detail and sterile technique. Specific techniques such as the Seldinger technique may be used for insertion, and the placement of the catheter tip is crucial for accurate fluid drainage and monitoring.

Clinical Considerations

Potential Complications

Risks: Complications associated with spinal drainage catheters include infections, hemorrhage, catheter malposition, and overdrainage, which can lead to complications such as intracranial hypotension or cerebral herniation.

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance Requirements: Proper care and maintenance of the catheter involve regular monitoring for signs of infection, maintaining aseptic technique during dressing changes, and ensuring the integrity of the catheter system to prevent complications.

Additional Information

Related Devices

Associated Terms: Other related devices include external ventricular drains, intracranial pressure monitoring systems, and shunts used for managing cerebrospinal fluid dynamics.

Innovations and Advancements

Recent Developments: Recent advancements in spinal drainage catheters focus on novel materials for catheter construction, improved infection control measures, and the development of adjustable pressure valves to optimize drainage and reduce complications.

Regulatory and Safety Notes

Regulations: The use of spinal drainage catheters is subject to specific regulatory standards and guidelines to ensure patient safety and device effectiveness. It’s important to follow these regulations to maintain the quality and reliability of the device.