Hydrocephalus

By: Tierza Flock

Introduction

A shunt is basically a thin flexible but sturdy plastic tube usually goes from the brain the neck and then to the abdomen. A shunt system consists of the shunt, a catheter, and a valve. One end of the catheter is placed in a ventricle thats alive inside the brain. The other end of the catheter is commonly placed within the abdominal area. A valve located along the catheter there is flow and regulates the rate of CSF flow. The shunt is the closest "cure" When you are diagnosed with

Hydrocephalus but, it is never actually cured.

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    What a Shunt is all about?

    Information On a Shunt

    You probably have heard the name but not sure what happens. The term hydrocephalus is derived from the Greek words "hydro" meaning water and "cephalus" meaning head.Congenital hydrocephalus is present at birth and may be caused by a few events or influences that occur during fetal development, or genetic abnormalities(rare). Hydrocephalus develops at the time of birth or at some point afterward. This type of hydrocephalus can affect individuals of all ages typically in an fetus before they are born.Hydrocephalus affects approximately 1 in every 500 children which that is not alot considering there are many many children on our earth.

    Symptoms

    When the eyes that appear to gaze downward, Irritability, Seizures, Separated sutures,Sleepiness, and or Vomiting is a sign that the shunt has been blocked or it is shutting down. When this happens, it can mean multiple things, first the shunt is blocked or second the entire shunt is not working which usually results in a emergency operation. The ventricals in the brain do not work and thats when the shunt comes in hand. Hydrocephalus is not contagouse to anybody typically but anyone can be affected by it. Usually the person gets severe headaches and will say they cant "concentrate" on what they are doing and they may feel sleepy or dizzy. Some describe it as a "off" feeling when too much fluid or too little is being drained.

    Facts About How Hydrocephalus Affects Me

    Many people do not know that i am affected by this condition everyday because its not somthing that is really "out" there. I have congential Hydrocephalus meaning lifetime and basically limited to what i am able to do. I personally do not talk about the conditon and how it effects me everydaybecause many people judge me for it. Its limiting what i do and what activitys I choose to do on a daily basis. I have had a total of nine nurological surgeries that have happend in my sixteen years of being alive. I am very careful of what I do such as in gym class and any athletic, or contact sports. (ect).

    "Fun" Facts

    1. September is Hydrocephalus awareness month2. Most people live, some die, its deadly. 3. It's not transmitted. 4.CSF shunt procedures account for approximately $100 million health care spending in the United States alone - half of this amount is spent on shunt revisions 5.Most patients with hydrocephalus will have pupils of normal size which contract normally to light. In some patients however, the pupils are larger than normal and do not react to light or react badly to light. 6. The body typicallt makes a pint of CSF in a 24 hour amount of time. Normally the amount of CSF is perfectly balanced (not too much nor too little). 7. Hydrocephalus occurs when there is an imbalance of production and/or absorption. Most types of hydrocephalus, the fluid gets trapped in the ventricles and can not complete its circulation, usually due to a blockage.. Brain Fluid is a light pink color.9. When you see a patient that has just recovered from an operation they may be in shock.10. Half of the head or in some cases all of it hairs get shaved off.