The Champagne Tap: Time to Pop the Cork?

Year of Publication


Number of Pages


Date Published

2020 11

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<p><strong>BACKGROUND: </strong>A "champagne tap" is a lumbar puncture with no cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) red blood cells (RBCs). Clinicians disagree whether the absence of CSF white blood cells (WBCs) is also required.</p>

<p><strong>AIMS: </strong>As supervising providers frequently reward trainees after a champagne tap, we investigated how varying the definition impacted the frequency of trainee accolades.</p>

<p><strong>MATERIALS &amp; METHODS: </strong>We performed a secondary analysis of a retrospective cross-sectional study of infants ≤60&nbsp;days of age who had a CSF culture performed in the emergency department (ED) at one of 20 centers participating in a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Collaborative Research Committee (PEM CRC) endorsed study. Our primary outcomes were a champagne tap defined by either a CSF RBC count of 0&nbsp;cells/mm regardless of CSF WBC count or both CSF RBC and WBC counts of 0&nbsp;cells/mm .</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Of the 23,618 eligible encounters, 20,358 (86.2%) had both a CSF RBC and WBC count obtained. Overall, 3,147 (13.3%) had a CSF RBC count of 0&nbsp;cells/mm and 377 (1.6%) had both CSF WBC and RBC counts of 0&nbsp;cells/mm (relative rate 8.35, 95% confidence interval 7.51 to 9.27).</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>In infants, a lumbar puncture with a CSF RBC count of 0&nbsp;cells/mm regardless of the CSF WBC count occurred eight-times more frequently than one with both CSF WBC and RBC counts of 0&nbsp;cells/mm . A broader champagne tap definition would allow more frequent recognition of procedural success, with the potential to foster a supportive community during medical training, potentially protecting against burnout.</p>



Alternate Title

Acad Emerg Med




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