Original Publication
Open Access

Infant Lumbar Puncture: POISE Pediatric Procedure Video

Published: February 3, 2011 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.8339

Included in this publication:

  • MEP_8339v2_1.m4v
  • Instructor's Guide Infant LP Video.doc

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Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


Introduction: This instructional video reviews the specific discrete steps of the infant lumbar puncture (ILP) procedure, the indications and contraindications of the procedure, the necessary equipment, and troubleshooting methods related to the procedure. ILP is a procedure by which cerebrospinal fluid is collected from the vertebral canal in patients suspected to have central nervous system infections. It is frequently performed by physicians-in-training on infants presenting with fever or irritability. These new interns are called upon to perform infant lumbar punctures with minimal training and self-report very low confidence and limited prior experience or training with this procedure. Seventy-two percent of interns report no formal LP training during medical school. For those who had training, 24% had 1-hour or less of didactic, and 15% had hands-on practice with a simulator. Didactic training during medical school has been associated with higher levels of knowledge, skills, and confidence at the start of internship. Methods: The content of the video provides learners with expert modeling and a clear description of the component steps of an infant lumbar puncture. This video focuses on the component psychomotor skills and does not cover the thought process involved in deciding when to perform an ILP. The video can be used by novice providers to introduce them to the procedure and develop their knowledge, skills, and confidence related to the ILP procedure. More experienced providers can use this video as a skills refresher prior to performing the procedure on a real patient. Results: Pediatric interns first-attempt clinical ILP success rate is 45% compared to 75% for senior physicians. The Patient Outcomes in Simulation Education Network conducted a training intervention exploring the effect of viewing this video and a simulation-based training intervention on pediatric interns procedural skills performance. Viewing this video was associated with a 60% first attempt success rate for pediatric interns performing infant lumbar punctures. Discussion: As of June 2010, over 500 pediatric interns at 25 leading academic medical centers (approximately 20% of pediatric interns in the United States) have viewed this video as part of their intern orientation process. We expect that many infants will be impacted over the course of the careers of the trainees who have participated in the wide-spread dissemination of this training program. This project has changed the standard of care provided to infants requiring a lumbar puncture at participating hospitals.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this module, the learner will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the discrete steps of infant lumbar puncture.
  2. Demonstrate the indications and contraindications of infant lumbar puncture.
  3. Demonstrate the equipment needed in order to perform and infant lumbar puncture.
  4. Demonstrate methods for troubleshooting during an infant lumbar puncture.

Author Information

  • Marc Auerbach, MD, MSci: Yale School of Medicine
  • Todd Chang, MD: Children's National Medical Center
  • Amanda Krantz, MS: Tulane University
  • Kevin Ching, MD: New York University School of Medicine
  • Martin Pusic, MD, PhD: Columbia University Medical Center
  • David Kessler, MD, MSci: Columbia University Medical Center
  • Anh Nguyen, MD, MBA: Imagine Health
  • Deepak Penesetti, MD: Imagine Health

None to report.

None to report. 

Prior Presentations
The Effect of a Simulation Based Mastery Learning Intervention on Pediatric Interns Procedural Skills Performance: A Multicenter Randomized Trial International presentations. Presented at: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2010; San Francisco, CA. 

The Effect of a Simulation Based Mastery Learning Intervention on Pediatric Interns Procedural Skills Performance: A Multicenter Randomized Trial International presentations. Presented at: Pediatric Academic Society National Meeting; 2010; Vancouver, WA.

Training During Medical School for Infant Lumbar Puncture: A Multicenter Descriptive Study B. Presented at: Pediatric Academic Society National Meeting; 2009; Baltimore.

A Randomized Trial of Simulation for Infant Lumbar Puncture Skills-Training. Presented at: Annual International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH); 2010; Phoenix, AZ. 


Auerbach M, Chang T, Krantz A, et al. Infant lumbar puncture: POISE pediatric procedure video. MedEdPORTAL. 2011;7:8339. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.8339