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Management of hydrocephalus


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Management of hydrocephalus

  1. 1. 42 Park Road Peterborough PE1 2UQ 01733 555988Management of hydrocephalusShunt alert cards will need to be re-referred to the hydrocephalus clinic via your GP.A small information card statingthe type of shunt a person has and the symptoms of malfunction. Baseline scansMainly for use in emergencysituations. Available through Even though you are not experiencingShine and your local Support and any problems with your shunt, it isDevelopment Worker (see overleaf advisable that a baseline scan isfor more information). taken when you are well. This will help to determine treatment, should you develop any pressure problems,GP leaflet the consultant will then know the size of your ventricles when well. IfA guide to hydrocephalus will you have not had a scan in the last 5be sent to your GP on request. years, you may need a referral - seeRemember, you may be the referral procedures above.only patient he/she has withhydrocephalus, so he/she will need all the information available. Eye check Individuals with a shunt are advisedReferral procedure to have eye checks every 6 months. Raised intracranial pressure mayIf you have not been seen by a cause pressure at the back of theneurosurgeon in the last 5 years eyes. Eye checks therefore assistto have your shunt checked, you early diagnosis.
  2. 2. Management of hydrocephalus HydrocephalusManaged by a shunt? 3rd Ventriculostomy? Not managed / arrested? Shunt checked in Have you seen a Are you monitored by a the last 5 years by a neurosurgeon in the neurosurgeon? neurosurgeon? last 5 years YES NO NO YES NO YES Ask your GP to A baseline scan Please seeDo you carry a refer you to a maybe due, please overleaf and shunt card? neurosurgeon? overleaf for details continue YES NO NO Please see Do you have an overleaf and eye check every continue 6-12 months? Are you aware of these symptoms listed?
  3. 3. Infants Toddlers Children & Adults Enlargement of head Enlargement of head Full, tense fontanelle Fever Headache Swelling, redness on Vomiting Vomiting shunt tract Headache Fever, swelling, Fever Irritability redness on shunt tract Irritability Sleepiness Irritability Seizures Swelling, redness on Ataxia Sunset eyes shunt tract Personality changes Seizures Visual disturbances Decline in academic performance Confusion Have you a combination Seizuresof any of these symptoms Sleepiness at the moment? Incontinence YES YES NOINTERMITTENTLY ALL THE TIMEOptions:1. Contact GP (24 hours)2. Contact consultant via Need to attend If you are alreadysecretary advice (9-5) specialist referred to a3. Contact children’s neurosurgical neurosurgeon, youward (24 hours), adults centre within 4 will usually receivego to A&E. hours of symptoms appointments for4. Contact Shine on: appearing. check-ups every year01733 555988. or so.
  4. 4. that an information sheet aboutSHUNT ALERT CARDS hydrocephalus, specially written for doctors, is sent to their GP.Shine has a series of Shunt AlertCards, for adults and children. Teachers and employers can askThese should be carried at all times for ‘Shunt malfunctions: a guide toby people with hydrocephalus symptoms and suggested actionstreated by a shunt (this will include for schools/employers’.some people with spina bifida).The cards are available from Shine,Telephone 01733 555988.The card emphasises that, if thecardholder is showing signs similarto those which occur when thereis shunt blockage or infection,urgent assessment of shuntfunction should be carried out ina specialist neuro-surgical unitin order to eliminate shunt failureas a cause. People applying for aShunt Alert Card can also requestHelp usShine relies on people’s generosity and support so we can help our clientswho depend on us for help and advice - people with hydrocephalus,spina bifida, their families and carers. To donate to Shine please or call 01733 555988.This information has been produced by Shine’s medical advisers andapproved by Shine’s Medical Advisory Committee of senior medicalprofessionals. Shine - Registered charity no.249338To see our full range of information sheets and to find out how to donate to Shine please visit