External ventricular drain EVD insertion (1010)

Key points below

What is an EVD?


Why does my child need an EVD? 

There is a fluid in and around the brain that protects it.  It is called cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). Your child needs an EVD to drain the CSF. The EVD may be needed if:

How does an EVD work?

When there is too much CSF, the pressure in the brain gets too high. The EVD helps drain some of the CSF to keep the pressure from getting too high. If there is an infection, the EVD removes the infected fluid. The nurse can collect CSF samples from the tubing when needed. 

How is the EVD placed?

The EVD is placed in surgery. 

1. Your child will be given sleep medicine to keep them still and comfortable when it is put in.
2. Your child will receive one dose of antibiotics before the surgery. 
3. A small hole is made in the skull.
4. The tube is placed through the hole and into a ventricle or subdural space in the brain.
5. The hole is stitched or stapled closed to hold the tube in place. 
The procedure takes about 1 hour. Then, your child will spend about an hour in the recovery room. 

What problems might happen? 

What signs and symptoms should I report to the nurse?

What else do I need to know?

It is important to keep the EVD at a certain height. Never move your child or the EVD by yourself. Tell the nurse if your child wants to sit up, get up, or use the bathroom. 
The nurse will clamp the EVD when needed. It can be clamped for a short time a few times a day so your child can walk around or participate in therapies.

When will the EVD be removed? 

Removal of the EVD depends on the reason it was placed. 

How is the EVD removed?


Call your child’s doctor or nurse if you have any questions or concerns or if:

  • You think the EVD is coming apart
  • Your child needs to change their position. 
  • Your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.