Patient Care

Intraventricular Haemorrhage (Children)

2023/10/23
What is an Intraventricular Haemorrhage?

‚Äč‚ÄčIntraventricular 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.

What are the signs & symptoms of IVH?

Babies who have mild bleeds usually do not show any signs, and the bleed will therefore only be diagnosed during routine screening through ultrasound scans. Babies who develop severe bleeds may occasionally be unwell, with changes in their breathing pattern, blood pressure and behaviour.

How is IVH diagnosed?

Diagnosis is made using an ultrasound. The ultrasound probe is placed on the soft part of the skull called the anterior fontanelle. Routine ultrasound scans are performed for all babies born below 1,500g several times during the baby's stay.

What are the treatment options for IVH?

No specific treatment is available for most cases of bleeding. In severe cases, the blood in the ventricles may obstruct the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (brain fluid) and lead to hydrocephalus (dilation of the ventricles). This may require drainage and removal by our doctors.

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Click here to access our Find A Doctor directory for a list of doctors treating this condition across our NUHS institutions.

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  • Condition name 'Intraventricular Haemorrhage' AND
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