The success rate of lumbar punctures was compared in neonates allocated prospectively to 0.2 to 0.5 mL of 1% lidocaine anesthesia (n=48) or a control group (n=52) in a study at the Albany Medical College of Union University, Albany, New York. A struggling motion score increased during the lidocaine injection but decreased at the spinal needle insertion. Despite the decreased motion following lidocaine, the number of attempts per lumbar puncture, failure rate, and traumatic punctures were not different from the controls. The success rate was not dependent on the level of physician training. 
COMMENT. The authors advocate lidocaine anesthesia in neonatal LPs.