Cephalohematoma is a type of injury that occurs when there is damage to blood vessels in the periosteum. This is a layer of protective covering that is between the skin and the baby’s skull. On its own and without complications, bleeding into this area is usually benign and requires no treatment.
However, it is important to ensure your child receives the correct diagnosis and is monitored closely at the hospital for this condition. Serious complications such as anemia, jaundice, and infection are possible with a cephalohematoma.
In some cases, cephalohematomas are preventable. If the doctor monitoring labor and delivery watches for signs of a difficult childbirth, they may be able to take steps to avoid needing to use forceps and avoiding other factors that may increase the risk for this type of bleeding.
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Causes of Cephalohematoma in Newborns
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), cephalohematomas only occur in between 0.4% to 2.5% of all live births. Cephalohematoma in newborns can occur as a result of a head injury from a drop or a fall, but it is also associated with long labors, difficult labors, and delivery using an assistive device, such as forceps or a vacuum extractor.
In some cases, cephalohematomas co-occur with other birth injuries. Because of this, it is recommended that a doctor evaluate your child as soon as possible when a cephalohematoma appears.
Cephalohematomas occur because of the damage to small blood vessels near the surface of the skin. They are usually harmless, and many babies with this condition have a very good prognosis.
Cephalohematomas do not usually require treatment. The body reabsorbs the blood, although this may take several weeks. However, because they can occur with other birth injuries, evaluation and initial observation are important for infants with this condition.
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Possible Complications of Cephalohematoma
A cephalohematoma may not be evident immediately at birth. This injury may only develop in the following hours and days. When this occurs, parents should bring their child back to a doctor for evaluation.
Doctors generally diagnose cephalohematoma based on the bulge and its location. However, they may call for additional testing that includes:
- CT scan
- MRI scan
While there is no recommended treatment beyond waiting for the body to reabsorb the blood, your newborn may need monitoring for signs of complications such as anemia or jaundice.
Cephalohematoma and Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Depending on the facts of their birth and other factors, it may be possible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit based on your newborn’s cephalohematoma or other birth injuries. With proper monitoring, long, difficult births and births that required the use of forceps or a vacuum extractor device are often preventable.
Preventable birth injuries may occur if the doctor and team did not monitor the pregnancy, labor, and delivery close enough and missed concerns such as an improper presentation or cephalopelvic disproportion, a condition when the baby is too large for the mother’s birth canal.
If you decide to work with a lawyer on your medical malpractice case, they can take action to seek financial recovery on your behalf. Your lawyer can also help with:
- Determining liability
- Gathering evidence and compiling records
- Partnering with an expert witness to defend your case
- Navigating the claims process as necessary
- Meeting all state deadlines for legal action
- Negotiating a settlement
- Representing you to all involved parties throughout the case
If you have a valid case to show your child suffered a preventable birth injury, your lawyer can also help you document the resulting expenses and losses. This may include:
- Medical care costs related to diagnosis and observation
- Medical costs for any complications
- Pay for time missed at work dealing with your child’s injury
- Additional out-of-pocket costs related to their injury
- Pain and suffering damages
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Speak with a Representative of the Birth Injury Lawyers Group About Your Case Today
If your child’s cephalohematoma was caused by doctor negligence, the Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help you. We represent families in medical malpractice lawsuits nationwide. Our firm can handle all aspects of your case when we represent you.
You can learn more about your legal rights in a free case review with a member of our team by calling the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 today.