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5 Nursing Diagnosis for Hydrocephalus

Nursing Care Plan for Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus also known as "water in the brain, is a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to brain swelling. Hydrocephalus is a medical condition in which there is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the ventricles, or cavities, of the brain.

CSF normally moves through the brain and the spinal cord, and is soaked into the bloodstream. CSF levels in the brain can rise if:
  •     The flow of CSF is blocked
  •     It does not get absorbed into the blood properly
  •     Your brain makes too much of it
Too much CSF puts puts pressure on the brain. This pushes the brain up against the skull and damage brain tissue.

In infants with hydrocephalus, CSF builds up in the central nervous system, causing the fontanelle (soft spot) to bulge and the head to be larger than expected. Early symptoms may also include:
  •     Eyes that appear to gaze downward
  •     Irritability
  •     Seizures
  •     Separated sutures
  •     Sleepiness
  •     Vomiting
Symptoms that may occur in older children can include:
  •     Brief, shrill, high-pitched cry
  •     Changes in personality, memory, or the ability to reason or think
  •     Changes in facial appearance and eye spacing
  •     Crossed eyes or uncontrolled eye movements
  •     Difficulty feeding
  •     Excessive sleepiness
  •     Headache
  •     Irritability, poor temper control
  •     Loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence)
  •     Loss of coordination and trouble walking
  •     Muscle spasticity (spasm)
  •     Slow growth (child 0 - 5 years)
  •     Slow or restricted movement
  •     Vomiting
5 Nursing Diagnosis for Hydrocephalus

1. Disturbed Sensory Perception related to suppression of occipital lobe due to increased ICT

2. Knowledge Deficit: parents related to illnesses suffered by children

3. Risk for ineffective breathing pattern related to decreased cough reflex

4. Delayed Growth and Development related enlargement of the head

5. Risk for infection related to the installation of drain / shunt

Pediatric Nurses