I am a 34 yr old male with Hydrocephalus. I have a ventriculopleural shunt. Recently, in the last 2 to 3 days, I have noticed red, itchy bumps near where my catheter traverses my anterior neck. I also have been having heart palpitations and have been quite fatigued. I have no other signs or symptoms of infection. I know I am paranoid ever since having the shunt placed back in 04/05, but could this be shunt related?
I'm not a doctor, but I have done a lot of reading on shunts (my Mom, who is in her 80s, has had 3 shunt surgeries since 1998). I've also talked with several neurologists and neurosurgeons over the years. The symptoms you are having should not be ignored. A shunt infection can be life-threatening. It may not be an infection, but if it is, the sooner it's addressed, the better.
I would contact your neurologist or neurosurgeon today if you haven't already done so (there should be someone on call, since it's a weekend) and explain what's going on. They can advise you as to whether you need to be seen right away for tests. Better safe than sorry.
Have you taken your temperature? If not, I would definitely do that ASAP, too, and let the doctor's office know what your temperature is running.
I agree with Yvette. Do see a doctor... at the very least have a blood test to see if your white count is high. And check your temperature. It's less common for a shunt to show signs of infection in the neck area, but again, better safe than sorry...
Thank you both for your input. I went to the doctor the next day and was told none of it was shunt related. My temp was normal and the palpitations were chalked up to PVCs. The red spots on my neck were most likely heat rash. I still don't know why I have been so fatigued lately.
It's good to have a resource like this, and I appreciate the contributions.
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