Shunt Malfunction Symptoms in Children

Hydrocephalus is serious medical condition that occurs when there is too much cerebrospinal fluid in the cavities of the brain.  In order to solve this problem of “too much water on the brain”, a neurosurgeon can insert a shunt, or a tube, that drains the excess fluid to other parts of the body and prevents pressure on the brain.

This is a good thing with good outcomes for many children who suffer from this condition.  That is, unless the shunt malfunctions.  According to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the following 8 symptoms could be signs that your child’s shunt is malfunctioning:

  • Headaches;
  • Vomiting;
  • Sleepiness;
  • Irritability;
  • Swelling or redness on the shunt tract;
  • Problems with school performance;
  • Confusion; and
  • Seizures.

If your child is exhibiting any of these symptoms then it is important to seek immediate medical attention to fix the problem and to determine the cause of the shunt malfunction.