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The Wade-Dahl-Till (WDT) valve is a cerebral shunt developed in 1962 by hydraulic engineer Stanley Wade, author Roald Dahl and neurosurgeon Kenneth Till. In 1960, Dahl's son Theo developed hydrocephalus after being struck by a car. A standard Holter shunt was installed to drain excess fluid from his brain; however the shunt jammed too often, causing pain and blindness, risking brain damage and requiring emergency surgery. Till determined that debris accumulated in the hydrocephalic ventricles could clog the slits in the Holter valves, especially with patients, such as Theo, who had had bleeding in the brain.

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15y ago
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2mo ago

While Roald Dahl was known for his imaginative stories and characters, he did not invent the concept of a "shunt." A shunt is a medical device used to divert flow from one pathway to another within the body, typically to relieve pressure or redirect circulation. Dahl did write about fantastic inventions in his books, but the shunt itself is a real-world medical device unrelated to his work.

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