- Hydrocephalus is one of the most common birth defects, each year one out of every 500 births results in hydrocephalus
- Another 6,000 children annually develop hydrocephalus during the first 2 years of life
- Brain injury occurs every 15 seconds in this country - and in some cases leads to the development of hydrocephalus
- There are approximately 75,000 discharges a year from hospitals in the U.S. with a diagnosis of hydrocephalus
- More than 50% of hydrocephalus cases are congenital
- 70-90% of children born with spina bifida also develop hydrocephalus
- CSF shunting procedures account for approximately $100 million health care spending in the United States alone - half of this amount is spent on shunt revisions
- In the past 25+ years, death rates associated with hydrocephalus have decreased from 54% to 5%, and the occurrence of intellectual disability has decreased from 62% to 30%
- Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus affects adults and can cause dementia, difficulty in walking and, urinary incontinence
- No statistics are kept (by our government), for those who develop
Signs normally found in infants and children
Signs normally found in older children, teens, and adults
The most common treatment for Hydrocephalus is to use a shunt.
A shunt is a mechanical device designed to transport the excess CSF from or near the point of obstruction to a re-absorption site and it is implanted under the skin.
There are many different types of shunts, but there is no perfect shunt. The quest continues for one, the shunt manufacturers are always trying to achieve this goal.
- Calcification or breakage of the catheters
- Separation (catheters may disconnect from the valve and reservoir unit)
- Valve is broken or stuck
- Wrong pressure valve (usually found in a fixed shunt)
- Catheter needs lengthening
- Over-drainage or under-drainage