Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 304-308

Improvised external ventricular drain in neurosurgery: A Nigerian tertiary hospital experience

Department of Surgery, Neurosurgery Unit, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba, Lagos State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
O A Ojo
Department of Surgery, Neurosurgery Unit, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, PMB 12007, Surulere, Idi Araba, Lagos State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0976-3147.158743

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Background: The most common type of hydrocephalus in developing countries is post infective hydrocephalus. Infected cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) however cannot be shunted for the reason that it will block the chamber of the ventriculo-peritoneal (VP) shunt due to its high protein content. In centers where standard external ventricular drain (EVD) sets are not available, improvised feeding tube can be used. Aim: The main focus of this study is to encourage the use of improvised feeding tube catheters for EVD when standard sets are not available to improve patients' survival. Methodology: This was a prospective study. Consecutive patients with hydrocephalus that cannot be shunted immediately for high chances of shunt failure or signs of increasing intracranial pressure were recruited into the study. Other inclusion criteria were preoperative brain tumor with possibility of blocked CSF pathway and massive intraventricular hemorrhage necessitating ventricular drainage as a salvage procedure. Standard EVD set is not readily available and too expensive for most of the parents to afford. Improvised feeding tube is used to drain/divert CSF using the standard documented procedure for EVD insertion. Outcome is measured and recorded. Results: A total of 28 patients were recruited into the study over a time frame of 2 years. There were 19 (67.9%) male and 9 (32.1%) females with a ratio of about 2:1. Age ranges varied from as low as 7 days to 66 years. The median age of the study sample was 6.5 months while the mean was 173.8 months. Duration of EVD varied from 2 days to 11 days with a median of 7 while the average was 6 days. Eventual outcome following the procedure of EVD showed that 19 (67.9%) survived and were discharged either to go home or to have VP shunt afterwards while 8 (28.6%) of the patients died. Conclusions: External ventricular drain can and should be done when it is necessary. Potential mortalities could be reduced by the improvised drainage using a standard feeding tube as described.

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