People with hydrocephalus have abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the ventricles, or cavities, of the brain. This may cause increased intracranial pressure inside the skull and progressive enlargement of the head, convulsion, and mental disability.
Hydrocephalus is usually due to blockage of CSF outflow in the ventricles or in the subarachnoid space over the brain. In a person without hydrocephalus, CSF continuously circulates through the brain, its ventricles and the spinal cord and is continuously drained away into the circulatory system. Alternatively, the condition may result from an overproduction of the CSF fluid, from a congenital malformation blocking normal drainage of the fluid, or from complications of head injuries or infections.
Regardless of cause, the fluid accumulates in the ventricles. Compression of the brain by the accumulating fluid eventually may cause convulsions and mental retardation. Fetuses, infants, and young children with hydrocephalus typically have an abnormally large head, excluding the face, because the pressure of the fluid causes the individual skull bones — which have yet to fuse — to bulge outward at their juncture points. Another medical sign, in infants, is a characteristic fixed downward gaze with whites of the eyes showing above the iris, as though the infant were trying to examine its own lower eyelids. Hydrocephalus occurs in about one out of every 500 live births and was routinely fatal until surgical techniques for shunting the excess fluid out of the central nervous system and into the blood or abdomen were developed. Hydrocephalus is detectable during prenatal ultrasound examinations.
This is from Wikipedia. Her Doctors may have advised her because of the severity of the condition, she does not have to do it if she doesn't want to but it could have led to major complications or even death in early infancy.
Like Mumita said, they can't make her do anything that she doesn't want to do HOWEVER I am under the impression that babies born with this condition have no chance of survival. They might be born alive but they would not survive for long.
i work with a child who has hydrocephalus. i don't know if he was born with it or if it was a result of him being a preemie. either way, he has had it all of his life. he is now 5. he has a shunt and is otherwise a very typical boy, except he is extremely bright.
that is my only experience with hydrocephalus. this case of course may be different. but to recommend termination at 37 weeks? is that possible? they may schedule a c-section due to complications, but termination implies ending the pregnancy with the purpose of killing the baby.
mumita's article states it occurs in 1 in every 500 live births, and prior to surgical intervention (shunts i assume) it was fatal.
Some of the comments on here are so misinformed that it is absolutely sickening. My daughter was diagnosed with hydro when I was 32 weeks pregnant with her. I would have NEVER considered an abortion, that is just plain ridiculous. Hydrocephalus can cause varying degrees of problems in different people, but most are doing just fine, thank you very much. My daughter is almost three and has been perfectly healthy, happy, and extremely intelligent since birth. She was shunted at 2 days old and has not had a surgery since. People who reply to posts on here really need to get more informed, geez...
If she is 37w I'm pretty sure it's illegal to terminate this late. The best option she'd have would be to wait it out, give birth and possibly consider the option of adoption if the little one survives and caring for the child is too tough.
I also have to say this - you should accept your child however they are born, disabilities, no disabilities, whatever. My husband and I were fully prepared to love and care for our daughter, no matter how disabled she was. All children are a gift from God and come to us for a reason. Every child has the right to live as given to them by God - that choice should not be in human hands. I really hope your friend did not terminate this pregnancy. That would be so horrible and cruel, it makes me extremely sad and worried to even think of something like that happening.
tommikat is right however in alot of cases there is more severe side affects, I have a pt. who is 30 yrs old, who was born with Hydro, he has had several shunts, and several shunt failures he and his parent have struggled and dealt with all obsticles thrown his way, he also has daily seizures all varying in severeity. So depending on the case I would say all outcomes would be different.
BUT I do agree Love your children whatever and however they are given to you.
I know many people with hydrocephalus since I work with individuals with special needs. Hydro can be associated with spinabiffida (sp?) but can also occur on its own. The degree of disability runs from none at all to fairly severe (although none of the people I know/ work with that have hydro are severely developmentally delayed) Most of the people I know/ work with that have hydro are of "normal" intelligence. It does make me very sad to hear that so many people are misinformed about this condition. Due to shunts hydrocephalus is rarely fatal.
Ummm... my aunt has hydrocephalus and is fine! She has a slightly larger proportioned head, but she is mentally "normal". She does have some complications from it, but by no means anything serious. Because of the added pressure to her brain, she is at a higher risk of stroke (which she just had a MINOR stroke a few months ago). She is 58 years old and this is the first complication from her condition. Obviously the serverity of the condition is what really determains the "special needs" of the person, but like I said... she is completely "normal" mentally. ;)
Hi My name is Esperanza , and I terminated my pregnancy last May due to the same diagnose , I was 28 weeks into my pregnancy... It's very hard to deal with something like this. So I sit here today and tell you to do what your heart tells you either way it's going to be painful...
Hi, I know it must be horribly stressful and I'm very sorry that you're dealing with this. I just wanted to share that I have a friend who was born with severe hydrocephaly, but they put shunts into her brain almost from the day she was born and as a result she developed almost completely normally. She had a few delays but nothing serious and as an adult she's an actress and quite successful.
It all depends on what you feel is right in your deepest heart. I know that I would be devastated with the diagnosis of hydrocephaly, but unless my child would not survive I would not terminate...because hydrocephaly is more manageable these days with many more available treatments. however...this is your life. have you spoken to a religious leader or a counselor about this choice? i would highly recommend it...or go to a support group for parents of or people with hydrocephaly and see what you're actually facing.
I wish you the best of luck with whatever choice you make...but remember that things we think are the worst things in the world, the End, are often the Beginning.
That was your choice to have an abortion, however, when a shunt is put in when the baby is a couple days old, it drains the fluid, and the child grows up to be healthy and normal. My sister was born with hydrocephalus back in 1994, and had a shunt, and she is normal. They have been doing shunts since the 1960's (successfully). So my point is, the abortion was your choice, not b/c of necessity.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.