At a new children's hospital between 1974 and 1978, 125 patients underwent 243 shunt procedures performed by six neurosurgeons. In spite of diverse techniques used, the overall results were acceptable. Seventy-seven patients required 118 shunt revisions. The mortality related to the shunt procedures of 7.2% and the infection rate of 14.4% were comparable to those of other series reported during the same period. Ventriculoatrial shunts, although fewer in number, required fewer revisions (20 revisions of 18 shunts) than ventriculoperitoneal shunts (97 revisions of 58 shunts) for which the variation in technique was larger. A sharp decline in the complication rate was noted during the last year of the study.