How does a baby get hydrocephalus?

In some babies the condition is genetic, such as in babies with congenital aqueductal stenosis. Other conditions, such as neural tube defects (like spina bifida), are also associated with hydrocephalus. Other causes include premature birth, infections, tumors or bleeding inside the brain.

What is the most common cause of hydrocephalus in infants?

The most common cause of acquired hydrocephalus in infants is hemorrhage, most often as a consequence of prematurity. Other important causes include neoplasm and infection, usually bacterial meningitis.

How do you know if your baby has hydrocephalus?

The most obvious sign of hydrocephalus in infants is a rapid increase in head circumference or an unusually large head size. Other symptoms may include seizures, vomiting, sleepiness, irritability, or eyes that constantly gaze downward.

Can a baby survive hydrocephalus?

What is the life expectancy of a child who has hydrocephalus? Children often have a full life span if hydrocephalus is caught early and treated. Infants who undergo surgical treatment to reduce the excess fluid in the brain and survive to age 1 will not have a shortened life expectancy due to hydrocephalus.

Can hydrocephalus go away?

Hydrocephalus is a chronic condition. It can be controlled, but usually not cured. With appropriate early treatment, however, many people with hydrocephalus lead normal lives with few limitations.

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Is hydrocephalus a disability?

You cannot get disability automatically for hydrocephalus because it is not a specifically listed condition in Social Security’s “blue book” of listed impairments.

Is hydrocephalus a birth defect?

Congenital hydrocephalus is caused by a brain malformation or birth defect that causes excessive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to accumulate in brain cavities, called subarachnoid space.

What are the chances of having a baby with hydrocephalus?

The mortality rate for infants is approximately 5 percent. Studies have shown that the risk of shunt failure in the infant’s first year is 30 percent.

Can a child outgrow hydrocephalus?

In most cases, the implantation of a shunt will successfully control hydrocephalus, but shunts do not cure hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a lifelong condition. However, with proper treatment and maintenance, children with hydrocephalus can lead normal lives with few limitations.

Can a woman with hydrocephalus have a baby?

Women successfully treated for hydrocephalus and reproductive aged women with a shunt are becoming pregnant. In the literature, there have been still published various complications during pregnancy and delivery. Some studies pointed to a high incidence of complications for some pregnant patients with VP.

When do babies develop hydrocephalus?

A healthcare provider may first spot this condition in your baby during an ultrasound in pregnancy. In many cases, hydrocephalus doesn’t develop until the third trimester of the pregnancy. Ultrasounds done earlier in pregnancy may not show this condition. Your child may be diagnosed with this condition after birth.

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