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Severe ventricle bleeding - complications of neonatal intensive care

Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is bleeding inside or around the ventricles, the spaces in the brain containing the cerebral spinal fluid. It is most common in premature babies, especially babies who weigh less than 1,500 grams (3 pounds, 5 ounces).

Bleeding in the brain can put pressure on the nerve cells and damage them. Severe damage to cells can lead to brain injury. Although pregnant women at high risk of delivering their babies early may be given medicines to help reduce the babies’ risk of intraventricular hemorrhage, it is not always possible to avoid this complication when babies are born too young or too small.

About this measure

This measure tracks the percentage of very low birth weight babies (3 pounds, 3 ounces or less) who also experienced a severe intraventricular hemorrhage while in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Because the number of infants in this group is very small, a single case of IVH can affect the overall complication rate measurably. 

We track this measure through our participation in the Vermont Oxford Network (VON), a voluntary non-profit organization of over 700 neonatal intensive care units. VON is a collaboration dedicated to improving the quality and safety of the care delivered in neonatal intensive care units.

Note: In this case, a lower number is better.