Hydrocephalus may occur at birth as a congenital disorder or may occur later in life due to meningitis, traumatic brain injury, brain tumor, brain cyst, brain hemorrhage, or perhaps and very frustrating to the patient and his or her family, the cause is unknown.
The most common treatment for hydrocephalus is a brain shunt.
A neurosurgeon implants the shunt into a patient's brain. This procedure in itself may cause brain damage. An estimated 50% of all shunts fail within two years, requiring further surgery (known as revision surgery) to replace the shunts.
According to Wikipedia, 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%.
Fifty percent of shunt failure is an astoundingly high number.
Brain shunt failure is caused by a number of reasons: infection, obstruction, collapsed ventricles, blood clots caused by hemorrhaging from shunt placement or catheter removal, and scar tissue accumulation.
The brain is extremely complex and controls all the body’s organs. The brain controls speech, vision, and motor skills. Even though the brain is protected by the skull and connective tissue layers, and surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid and isolated from the bloodstream, the delicate nature of the brain makes it vulnerable to numerous diseases and several types of damage.
Brain surgery under any conditions is never a walk in the park. Brain shunt failure is considered medical malpractice. The brain shunt is supposed to correct the hydrocephalus problem not cause more problems, more medical expenses, more pain and suffering and setbacks for the patient and his or her family.
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