TABLE 11-5. CRITERIA FOR IDENTIFYING A TRAUMATIC TAP

  1. The number of RBC's diminishes greatly between the first and last tubes.
  2. The supernatant is not xanthochromic.
  3. The CSF white blood cell count is not higher than expected. (When blood has been in the CSF for hours or days, it acts as an irritant and excites a CSF pleocytosis. In a traumatic tap, there should be 1 or 2 WBC's for every 1,000 RBCs if the patient's peripheral blood counts are normal.)
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