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Indian baby girl with hydrocephalus to go abroad to seek medical attention

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 17th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Runa Begum of India is a 16-month-old little girl who suffers from the rare - and difficult malady known as hydrocephaly. The condition causes the patient's head to fill with fluids, causing the head to grow to extreme size. Her rare plight, as seen in photographs published all over the world, has caused charitable organizations to donate to her medical treatment.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - From Tripura, India, Runa lives in poverty with her mother and father. The Indian medical group, Fortis Healthcare Limited, operates hospitals across India and the pan-Asian Pacific region, and is assisting with the girl's medical care.

Runa's father, Abdul Rahman, earns about $3 a day working at a brick factory in Tripura, northeast India, and the family was at a loss for how to pay for her medical care.

According to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, references to hydrocephalic skulls can be found in ancient Egyptian medical literature from 2500 BC to 500 AD.[2] Hydrocephalus was described more clearly by the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates in the 4th century BC, while a more accurate description was later given by the Roman physician Galen in the 2nd century A.D.

The first clinical description of an operative procedure for hydrocephalus appears in the Al-Tasrif (1,000 A.D.) by the Arab surgeon, Abulcasis, who clearly described the evacuation of superficial intracranial fluid in hydrocephalic children. He described it in his chapter on neurosurgical disease, describing infantile hydrocephalus as being caused by mechanical compression. He states.

"The skull of a newborn baby is often full of liquid, either because the matron has compressed it excessively or for other, unknown reasons. The volume of the skull then increases daily, so that the bones of the skull fail to close. In this case, we must open the middle of the skull in three places, make the liquid flow out, then close the wound and tighten the skull with a bandage."

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