Post dural puncture headache (PDPH) occurs in up to 80% of patients who experience inadvertent dural puncture during epidural anaesthesia. The headache is often accompanied by neck stiffness, photophobia, nausea, or subjective hearing symptoms, and can last for multiple days. These can lead to mothers missing the first days with the newborn. The precise etiology of PDPH is unclear, but is thought to relate to leakage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) through the dural hole created by the needle.
Currently, there are no immediate treatments for PDPH. The only available solutions are bed-rest and blood-patches/sphenopalatine ganglion block, with the latter options only being administered if symptomes do not alleviate after 3 days.
From a collaboration between Instituto de Biomecánica de Valencia (IBV) and FISABIO, a patch (incl. insertion kit) has been produced to stop CSF loss a few instants after an accidental dural puncture. This invention represents the first ever immediate treatment of accidental dural punctures, and prevents patients (such as new mothers) from being in pain for multiple days after their epidurals.
The feasibility of patch and insertion kit has been tested in a sheep model study. For the patch to reach the patients, further product developments need to be performed and a regulatory clinical study.
Meet the team
Venture Partner at NLC
Nick joined NLC in July 2022 from a London-based VC fund where he led European Life Sciences investments and was a Member of the Fund’s Investment Committee. Over the past ten years, he has backed several high-profile companies, including taking one from Series A to IPO in the USA. Nick started his career as a surgeon, specialising in neurosurgery. He holds medicine and law degrees, including a master’s degree in Surgical Technology from Imperial College London and an MBA from London Business School. Nick is eager to leverage his experience and knowledge to help NLC build ventures and advance health.