Last night, (5/5/2011), ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy featured hydrocephalus for the second time in the show’s history. The first time was in November of 2009 and involved Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, which affects older adults. In last night’s episode ‘White Wedding’, Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) and Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), adopted a baby from Africa with hydrocephalus.
This is a great opportunity to spread awareness and we would like to encourage members of our community to contact their local ABC affiliate and say:
“You may have seen that Dr. Shepherd and Dr. Grey adopted a baby from Africa with hydrocephalus. While the treatments for hydrocephalus are less accessible in Africa, it is still a condition fraught with very antiquated treatments and difficult outcomes here in the US. The primary treatment for hydrocephalus is the surgical implantation of a medical device called a shunt.
- Unfortunately, shunts have the highest failure rate of any medically implanted device — 50% fail within two years
- Due to this failure rate, many individuals must live a life filled with repetitive brain surgeries just to survive.
- Approximately one in every 500 live births has hydrocephalus.
My (son, wife, daughter, self, etc.) has hydrocephalus and have experienced (X) surgeries as a result. Would your health editor be interested in meeting him/her/me and learning more about this condition that affects approximately 1 million Americans?”