For millions of children lacking access to quality neurosurgical care, there are strategies that will not only save lives but will also improve quality of life.
1. Create centers of excellence
Neuro Kids comes alongside neurosurgeons and their clinical teams in low-resource settings, optimizing their ability to treat infant hydrocephalus using the best available means.
Propelled by pandemic-driven technological advances, we can now incorporate state of the art equipment and methods for remote and simulated learning, removing barriers to collaboration and training—namely, eliminating trainee time away, optimizing on-site time for instructors and significantly reducing the costs of training (time and money).
Prior to distance technology, long-term interactions required moving to a location. We’re leveraging distance training to make it more feasible for people to enter into those long-term relationships, providing the ongoing support and mentoring. This liberates neurosurgeons in low-resource settings from the tremendous weight of isolation and the burden of care falling solely on them.
2. Increase access to a better treatment standard
In carefully designed clinical trials, Dr. Benjamin Warf demonstrated that a relatively straightforward, one-time treatment using modern endoscopic techniques results in outcomes that are as safe and effective as shunts while requiring far less medical infrastructure and post-surgical maintenance.
ETV/CPC is a proven alternative treatment to VP shunt placement.
The ETV is a minimally-invasive procedure that creates an opening in the floor of the third ventricle in the brain. This allows cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) trapped within the brain’s ventricles to escape into its normal pathway.
CPC is a procedure that reduces the choroid plexus (tissue that produces CSF) in two of the four ventricles inside the brain. This decreases the amount of fluid produced and may also reduce the strength of pulses that can cause the ventricles to enlarge.
Combined, the ETV/CPC procedure is more effective in treating hydrocephalus than ETV alone, avoiding shunt-dependence in 2 out of 3 babies, and 3 out of 4 in babies with hydrocephalus associated with spina bifida. Clinical data, therefore, suggests that the ETV/CPC is the best-practice treatment for infant hydrocephalus in both high and low resource settings. Over ten thousand lives have been saved with this procedure.
Developed in Uganda, and first reported in 2005, ETV/CPC has now been adopted as a primary treatment for infant hydrocephalus in most major children’s medical centers in North America, but is relatively absent on the global stage.