Thursday, September 25, 2008

Three Things You Should Know About Brain Bleeds

I plan to do some more extensive posting on this topic in the future but, for now, if you know someone with a very early preemie, here are some basic things you should know:

  1. A brain bleed is technically called an intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) and it is a condition that results from abnormal bleeding on or in the brain.
  2. Intraventricular hemorrhages are categorized into four different grades of severity with grade 1 being the mildest and grade 4 indicating actual bleeding into the brain substance itself.
  3. All early preemies are monitored for brain bleeds through weekly head ultrasounds (frequency may vary based on hospital protocol). If an IVH is detected, treatment will vary depending on severity and ranges from doing nothing to performing surgery and placing shunts.
Doctors feel that for some babies (especially those born weighing less than 3 lb 5 oz), IVH may be an unavoidable consequence of premature birth.

(source Your Premature Baby by Frank Manginello)

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