VP shunt


Are we supposed to be pumping the VP shunt on a regular basis? I remeber this my from "back in the day", but now that i am in the neuro surgical icu (and new to it) my preceptor said "we never do that". Have things changed?


prmenrs, RN

4,565 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Infection Control. Has 42 years experience.

My son has one. The only time it's been "pumped" is when the surgeon is checking him every 2 years or so.


1 Article; 6,681 Posts

Has 17 years experience.

They used to tell my parents to press on mine occasionally, especially when I was acting sick, irritable, that sort of thing, to make sure it would refill. That was 20-25 years ago though. My shunt doesn't work anymore and I outgrew my hydrocephalus anyway, but it seems like everyone has gotten away from the pumping thing. Now you don't touch it unless you're the doctor.

rn/writer, RN

17 Articles; 4,168 Posts

I have two grandsons with VP shunts--one with Spina Bifida and one with CP. The nine year old went his first six years without a revision. Then he had four or five in one year. Go figure. The thirteen year old has only had two in his whole life.

At any rate, neither of the boys' docs wants my daughter to push on the shunt pumps without either contacting Neuro or bringing them into the ER.

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