In this edition we get to know Medical Advisory Committee member, Dr. Anthony Ordman a little better, and in particular, what drew him to join the MAC.
I was delighted to be asked to become a member of the Medical Advisory Board for the CSF Leak Association. As an anaesthetist, who had moved sideways into becoming a full-time pain specialist at the Royal Free Hospital’s Pain Clinic in London, I felt that I had a good skill mix to help people suffering from CSF leak symptoms who were contemplating undergoing a series of epidural blood patches. I felt so sorry for those whose lives were interrupted and on hold by their low-pressure symptoms.
As a pain specialist, I enjoyed seeing our patients in clinic, spending time discussing epidural blood patches with each person, before starting their series of epidural blood patches, often seeing them between each procedure to check on progress. I really enjoyed working with people in this way, and have formed one or two lasting associations with them, via the CSF Leak Association.
I developed a routine for carrying out epidural blood patches that optimised safety for patients, and the chances of improvement. This involved carrying out the procedures in the operating theatre, with light sedation available, using biplanar x-ray screening to ensure optimal epidural needle placement before blood was injected into the epidural space.
I carried out a series of epidural blood patches for Dr Matharu’s patients. He and I then presented this series at a neurology meeting, and our combined audit showed that despite the relatively longstanding cases we had treated with blood patches, our success rate in improving symptoms was very good, probably second best in the country.
We had little trouble in obtaining insurance cover for those patients who had the benefit of private insurance and wished to be treated privately.
I am hoping that through the CSF Leak Association I will be able to share advice on the practice of the autologous blood patch for maximum safety and benefit. Meanwhile, I continue to learn from my specialist colleagues in the Medical Advisory Committee, and equally from the expert patients who make up the Trustees of the Association.
We thank Dr. Ordman very much indeed for taking the time to write this piece for the newsletter.