TABLE 11-5. CRITERIA FOR IDENTIFYING A TRAUMATIC TAP
- The number of RBC's diminishes greatly between the first and last tubes.
- The supernatant is not xanthochromic.
- 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.)