Intraventricular hemorrhages (IVH) is common amongst premature infants, and doctors are often faced with the task of communicating the diagnosis and the condition to the patient’s parents. For the lack of accurate online and offline resources on IVH comprehensible to patients, our client at the NICU department at the University of Illinois Hospital tasked us to create an educational piece that can be used to achieve better communication around IVH.
During our deep dive, we discovered the problem to be two folds: 1. many resources are MRI data, making it harder for the audience to understand. 2. medical illustration represented adult ventricles, while infant brain is visually different from the adult's, making the information inaccurate.
While conducting the research, we compiled necessary information for the patient to make an informed decision and created various compositions, making sure that the information flows intuitively. Unlike many illustration we found online, we centered a story around germinal matrics, a leaky gelatinous structure only present in premature infant's brain. We also aimed to show the structure from multiple angles to provide better spacial orientation to the patients.
Conducting an accurate scanning of a baby’s brain, through X-ray or CT come with severe radiation and cancer risks, while MRI can also be hard as it is sensitive to motion. Using the academic article Volumetric Analysis of the Germinal Matrix and Lateral Ventricles Performed Using MR Images of Postmortem Fetuses, we reconstructed an accurate 3D representation of the neonate’s ventricles with germinal matrics, the first and only 3D resource you can find.