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Help please! Re ventricular/cerebral drain

Guest Vonk

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Hi all

First posting so first of hello.

Just by way of introduction, my mum had an SAH in January of this year and passed away as a result of multiple organ failure following this.

My dad has (possibly as a way of distracting himself) taken the view (following discussions with his cousin who is a doctor in France) that my mum was not treated properly.

One of his main concerns is that there was a long delay between the onset of the SAH and the placing of a ventricular/cerebral drain - a delay of around 10 hours. My dad's cousin's view is that in France, these are placed ASAP after the onset of the haemorrhage and from talking to a couple of other people we know who have had SAHs, the suggestion is that these are normally placed fairly quickly.

I would really appreciate it if anyone could share their experience of this.

Thanks very much


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Hi Vonk, first of all let me say, sorry for your loss.

You do not say what kind of SAH it was, there are several different kinds. Some do not need the drain at all, mine certainly didn't. I am no expert but surely the best person to see would be the consultant in charge of your mothers case. Then you can ask all the relevent questions as to why "you" think that it took to long to put the drain in place.

My thoughts are with you.

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Hi Vonk

I'm so sorry for your loss, what a dreadful shock your family have experienced.

Gary is right, you hsould make a note of your questions and ask for an appointment to speak with the consultant that looked after your mother, only he/she can give you a full explanation of the treatment your mother recieved and why.

I never had a drain fitted as I didn't need one. I too was in a bad way by the time I reached hospital but I was conscious. My body was in shock and my organs were being affected. I've been told that I was their miracle for last year. But my bleed was at the back of my head and that's why I have survived this and have so few problems.

I was given statistics by my consultant when I arrived at the specialist hospital.

He said that in the UK aprroximately 8500 people suffer a SAH. Of these 15% won't make it to hospital. A further 35% will not survive the first month. He then said that only 10% of people make it to hospital with a second bleed. So the stats are stacked against us. Everyone's bleed is different as is their recovery, if they are luckly enough to survive. But it really depends on where the bleed was, how big the bleed was. Really only the consultant that looked after your mother can give you these answers, your dad's cousin was not in charge of her care. I would urge you to contact him/her. You and your dad need answers so that you can grieve properly and try to find some peace.

Take care.

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hi vonk

im sorry about the loss of your mum and send my condolence's

im going to answer you with the knowledge that i have and what my partner went through and which i still ongoing

it depends on the level of mums bleed that governs if she survives im sorry to be fairly blunt in that respect and mum's fitness as well i do understand where your dad is coming from you haven't said how old mum was as this and mums general health did she have surgery to treat the bleed if so was it a crainiotomy or was she coiled a shunt is not necessary unless the venticals block that will be apparent from the start of surgery or in lins case hydrocephalus occurred later the ventricles blocked and was treated with a shunt three months after diagnosis

if mum had a crainiotomy then there would be no reason for a drain as the skull would have been opened and all blood vessels would have been sealed before the skin was closed although sometime some people do have an evd which is an external drain attached to the skull and removed shortly after surgery the other shunt is the ventrical peritoneal shunt which is placed to control the flow of cerebral fluid within the skull

one thing you must understand is that mum went through a massive brain injury and it leads to complications everywhere else particularly the bodies organs it must be very difficult for dad to come to terms with what has happened i know what i was like when it happened to lin as Liz says many people who suffer sah don't make it through for which it is a shock to say the least different country's treat people differently and unless the cousin is a neurosurgeon i would treat it with a pinch of salt if you can try and get into to see and speak to the neurosurgeon please its i think is the only way dad will be able to come to terms with what has happened again im so so sorry mum didn't make it through but please try and talk to the neurosurgeon please my regards to the family my thoughts are with you all

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I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Like the others have said, the only person who can give you answers is the consultant in charge, and you are definitely entitled to make an appointment to discuss your questions with them. Having grown up in France, I know I used to think that "everything in France is done better" but now I realise that every medical case is different and it doesn't matter where you are, doctors everywhere work with what they have in front of them and have to make decisions based on clinical diagnosis.

I am not trying to belittle in any way what your dad is going through and I understand that people grieve differently and sometimes grab on to anything rather than accept that their loved one has died. I hope you can both write down some questions and get an appointment with the consultant who I'm sure will be able to give you all the answers.

Personally, I didn't have a shunt. I was told there "was so much blood" they couldn't see where to coil, so they had to go in and do a craniotomy to see what they were dealing with. I think it's the luck of the draw that I have not suffered more complications.

I'm glad you found us - this place is great because everyone is so helpful and positive, and there is usually at least one person who has been through the same as you. Take care.

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Welcome to the site. I am very sorry to hear of your family's bereavement and I hope you find support amongst us.

I was fitted with a drain because I had hydrocephalus, but I do not know when it was fitted. However, as you have heard, our experiences are different and with regard to our treatments 'one size doesn't fit all.'

Speaking with your Mother's Consultant seems to be your first step and s/he will be able to answer your question directly.

My cousin is a doctor and when I next speak to him I will ask when I had my drain fitted. I have asked my parents but they cannot be sure.

All I can say at this stage is that my SAH was at around 3 p.m and I was conveyed to a local hospital (with no neuro special ward) almost immediately. Upon my SAH being diagnosed, I was taken to a larger hospital 40 miles away. This meant I reached the specialist ward around midnight. My parents do not think that I had a drain fitted within this time, but I will ask my cousin, he will know more.

Take care


Edited by Lin-lin
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