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VP Shunt Malfunction Signs and Symptoms

What are the signs and symptoms of VP shunt malfunction?

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Wouldn’t life be great if when a medical device was implanted it would work as anticipated? In perfect perhaps but that’s not always the case even with modern medicine and high technology.

When a VP shunt has to be replaced, your doctor will require shunt revision surgery which will modify or alter your shunt. Before that happens here are some signs and symptoms for why a revision would be necessary:

  • Mechanical failures, i.e. valve fails to work correctly
  • Use of the wrong type of shunt valve
  • Infections
  • Obstructions
  • Need to lengthen or replace the distal catheter or valve

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If you or your child has a VP shunt, know the symptoms that would alert you, your family, and your doctor to developing problems. If you have more than one of these symptoms at the same time, get medical help immediately.

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Behavioral changes, irritability
  • Persistent headaches with increased severity
  • Loss of balance or mobility, stumbling, or drifting to one side or the other while walking
  • Lethargy, tired all the time, or difficult time walking
  • Impaired cognitive ability
  • Unable to process thoughts or perform routine tasks without being disoriented
  • Loss of memory
  • Vision problems, including double vision and crossed eyes
  • Loss of upward gaze
  • Slurred speech
  • Persistent low grade fever usually greater than 100 degrees or a high grade fever 102-104 degrees
  • Redness along the shunt tract
  • Tenderness in the areas surrounding the shunt system, including the abdomen
  • Coma
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abnormal heart rate

If your loved one’s VP shunt malfunctions, get medical help and get legal help ASAP. Unsafe medical devices and medical malpractice are serious matters requiring legal assistance. Contact Monheit Law today.

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