How long is reasonable to wait for lumbar puncture - need answer fast

Short summary

Dad - 86
Supposed to go in for biopsy to possibly confirm temporal arteritis
Was at work and had seizure on Sat - taken by ambo hospital
When I got there he had another seizure - totally consistent to what I read about them on web
Would get better after 30 minutes or so - had normal sense of humor, made jokes - seemed himself - but a little exhausted. Remembered and asked on Sunday about a friend I had brought on Saturday.

Now he seems to be in a state of constant convulsions - he can say single words and stuff but is extremely agitated and confused.

Did lumbar puncture Monday around 3 EST

They said something about encephalitis and possibly his polio effecting him. They don’t know what is wrong with him - but seem generally not moving very fast .

Should it take 23 hours for lumbar results?
They are saying “days” for results

Got into accident yesterday so wasn’t here yesterday but sister was and doctor only came by once in 13 hours. He is in a constant state of near terror. (Before he would seize, come back, be pleasant (rated pain as a 0))

Head CT negative for gross stuff
Head MRI negative for finer detail stuff
Urine & Blood I think was ok except for electrolytes (which they said was slightly off)

“Artifact” & “PVC” appears on ECG II & VI (I’m guessing that’s what on the monitor)
HR 98
BP 120/52
Pulse Ox:97%
Resp Rate: 25

They seemed pretty confident when he was brought in he wasn’t dying
“Well we all are dying, but this isn’t going to do it”

He seems to have calmed down some since writing, but still need to know about lumbar - they seem to only be waiting for lumbar and EEG

Ok - cancel need answer fast - they showed me computer screen and apparently it takes DAYS for EVERYTHING to come back - it was basically three columns:

  1. “spins fluid”
  2. thing it was tested for - like cryptosomething
  3. results which say stuff like
    “No growth so far”
    "No growth - test final - negative

Unfortunately, if they’re doing a bacterial culture, it does take a few days in the incubator to see if any bacteria are growing. Pretty much everything else is nearly instant - radiologists can read and interpret CT and MRI scans from their office just as soon as the scans are done as the scanners are usually on the hospital’s LAN, but there’s not much they can do to speed up bacteria.

Sorry to hear your dad’s not doing well. Hopefully they get a good diagnosis soon.

Some portions of an LP are back in hours, such as the presence or absence of red blood cells, white blood cells and the quantities of protein and sugar. Then they put some of the fluid on a petri dish in the incubator and see what grows, that’s the part that takes days.

Nowadays, tests for viruses (i.e. Herpes especially) can be done using PCR with the result available in a day or so.

As well, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) can be tested for the presence of various bacteria by looking for the presence of its antigen (in other words, you don’t have to wait for the culture “in the Petri dish” to to grow or not - if the bacterial antigen is there, the bacteria is there).

There is also now an antigen test for the one fungus that has any significant likelihood of causing meningitis - cryptococcus. As with bacterial antigen testing in the CSF, the result for cryptococcus antigen should be available pretty quickly, and much, much faster than waiting for the culture to grow.