Infant cephalohematoma occurs when a birth injury causes bleeding beneath the skin above the skull but under the skin on a newborn baby’s head. While infant cephalohematoma is relatively benign, it can cause complications for your baby. Some cases of cephalohematoma occur because a doctor or other care provider acted negligently. If you can prove this happened to your newborn, you can hold the doctor or hospital liable.
Infant Cephalohematoma Lawsuits and Injury Cases
Proving infant cephalohematoma occurred because of medical malpractice can be difficult, because the condition may occur because of the regular stress on an infant’s head during childbirth. To hold a doctor or hospital liable, you must have a strong case showing the injury was preventable and that the doctor and other care providers failed to do so. Evidence in this type of case may include:
- Testimony from a medical expert witness about the acceptable standard of care and proper protocols based on the facts of your case.
- Any relevant medical records.
- Interviews with witnesses.
- Documentation to prove your recoverable damages.
Your infant cephalohematoma birth injury attorney can collect evidence, identify the liable party or parties, and represent you throughout the process.
Infant Cephalohematoma Overview
A cephalohematoma is a type of bleeding that occurs into the periosteum of the skull. This is a protective layer over the bone. Because this bleeding occurs between the skull and the skin, the brain is not in jeopardy. However, diagnosis and monitoring are important because serious complications may occur.
Infant Cephalohematoma Causes
Cephalohematoma is possible in almost any birth. The natural forces of the birth process are enough to cause cephalohematoma. This is rare, though. In most cases, infant cephalohematoma only occurs if there is a long or difficult delivery. Other factors that increase the risk of cephalohematoma include:
- Large babies
- Cephalopelvic disproportion
- Use of forceps and vacuum extraction
- Improper use of birth-assisting devices
Infant cephalohematoma may be preventable in many cases. For example, a doctor should be able to recognize cephalopelvic disproportion—a baby too large for the mother’s birth canal—and perform a cesarean section (C-section) instead. Following the proper procedures and acceptable use of forceps and vacuum extraction during vaginal delivery can also reduce the risk.
Infant Cephalohematoma Symptoms
In most cases, doctors can diagnose infant cephalohematoma by the bulge on the back of the baby’s head. This bulge is usually obvious and is, at first, soft to the touch.
While a cephalohematoma is generally harmless, they can cause and contribute to several serious complications. These include:
- Infection, especially if drained
As time passes, the blood will calcify under the skin, and the bulge will harden. Then, it will slowly go away on its own over several weeks. You will need to monitor it until it disappears.
Infant Cephalohematoma Diagnosis and Treatment
While doctors can often diagnose an infant cephalohematoma based on looking at the bulge, they often request additional testing to rule out complications or other, more serious, causes. This usually revolves around medical imaging such as X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI scan.
Your infant’s doctor will likely want to monitor their cephalohematoma, but no treatment is necessary. If the baby develops anemia, the doctor may perform a blood transfusion. Your newborn may require phototherapy or other treatment if they develop jaundice.
Infant Cephalohematoma Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Know If My Baby Has Infant Cephalohematoma?
If you notice a strange bulge on the back of your baby’s skull shortly after birth, you may want to bring it to the attention of one of your care providers. This is the most recognizable sign of infant cephalohematoma.
Can Infant Cephalohematoma Be Fatal?
Infant cephalohematoma is generally harmless. However, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis and continue monitoring it. Infant cephalohematoma can cause serious but treatable conditions like anemia and jaundice. In addition, a more significant health concern might, at first, appear to be a cephalohematoma. By confirming the diagnosis, you can rule out another condition.
Who Is Liable for Infant Cephalohematoma?
Depending on the facts of your newborn’s birth injury case, you may be able to pursue damages in a claim or lawsuit against the doctor who delivered him or the hospital where he was born. As a part of preparing your case for legal action, your attorney will identify all potentially liable parties.
What Is the Statute of limitations for Infant Cephalohematoma?
There are likely deadlines for how long you have to file a lawsuit based on your newborn’s infant cephalohematoma, but exactly how long you have depends on where you live. Each state sets its own laws, including the statute of limitations, the statute of repose, and special rules for cases where the victim was a minor. Your attorney will discuss how quickly you need to take legal action during your initial consultation.
Infant Cephalohematoma Glossary Terms
- What is a Subdural Hematoma? A subdural hematoma is a build-up of blood between the dura that covers and protects the brain and the brain itself. Subdural hematomas can be very serious and require emergency medical care.
- What are Dermal layers? Dermal layers are the layers of skin, including the epidermis and dermis.
- What is Periosteum? Periosteum is a type of vascular tissue that wraps around most bones throughout the body, providing some level of protection. Cephalohematoma occurs between the skull and its periosteum.
Talk to an Infant Cephalohematoma Birth Injury Lawyer
If your newborn suffered birth injuries that included a cephalohematoma, you may be eligible to hold the doctor or hospital liable. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at 1-800-222-9529 to connect with an attorney in your state familiar with this type of birth injury case.
Your attorney will offer a no-cost case review and will handle your case with no out-of-pocket expenses. Attorneys with the Birth Injury Lawyers Group do not get paid unless they recover damages for you.