Amide local anaesthetics impair coagulation by inhibition of platelet function and enhanced fibrinolysis. The potential therefore exists that the presence of amide local anaesthetics in the epidural space could contribute to the therapeutic failure of an epidural autologous blood patch. Ropivacaine is an aminoamide local anaesthetic increasingly used for epidural analgesia and anaesthesia, particularly in obstetric practice. This study was undertaken to investigate whether concentrations of ropivacaine in blood, which could occur clinically in the epidural space, alter coagulation or fibrinolysis. Thromboelastography was used to assess clotting and fibrinolysis of blood to which ropivacaine had been added. Although modest alterations in maximum amplitude, coagulation time and alpha angle were observed, the effect of ropivacaine on clotting and fibrinolysis was not clinically significant. We conclude that it is unlikely that the presence of ropivacaine in the epidural space would reduce the efficacy of an early or prophylactic epidural blood patch.