Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is a condition that can affect babies with a very low birth weight (VLBW). The degree of bleeding can be divided into four grades by increasing in size and severity:
- Grade 3 and Grade 4 bleeds are classified as severe IVH.
- Grade 4 bleeds will have the greatest risk of affecting the future mental and physical development of the baby
The blood vessels in the premature brain are fragile and are prone to bleeding into the ventricular spaces, and if more severe, into the brain tissue itself. The more immature or the more unstable the baby's clinical condition is during the first few days, the higher the chances of bleeding.