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June 1962

Progressive Hydrocephalus: Should It Be Surgically Corrected in Institutions for the Mentally Retarded?

Author Affiliations

John C. Heffelfinger, M.D., Coldwater State Home and Training School, Coldwater, Mich.; Chairman, Department of Pediatrics, University Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Mich. (Dr. Wilson); Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery, University Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Mich. (Dr. Kahn).; Department of Neurosurgery, University Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Am J Dis Child. 1962;103(6):835-836. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1962.02080020852016

In an institution that cares for the mentally retarded from infancy to death, regardless of age, there are many severe nursing problems. One of the most discouraging and disturbing problems is the care of the patients with hydrocephalus and their progressively enlarging heads. Increasing spasticity, emaciation, and decubiti are some of the more common problems that plague and hamper a program of care for these patients. Occasionally, there are some patients whose hydrocephalus is arrested before the patients are admitted to the institution, and many of these do not present this type of problem.

Ventricular jugular shunts of the Holter valve type have helped many patients with early hydrocephalus out of difficulty. Dr. James L. Wilson* and Dr. Edgar A. Kahn * thought this procedure would be applicable to our problem concerning these patients. The program to evaluate this shunting procedure was organized and executed.

Only patients admitted to this institution

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