Birth is a rough process for both the mother and the baby. Babies can get bruises from the force of the pushing, including on the head. This is called an infant cephalohematoma. Not all of these bruises are caused by the birth process. Sometimes a doctor’s rough treatment or lack of care can put the baby at risk.
An infant cephalohematoma can be the first sign of a deeper problem like a brain bleed, that could cause significant harm to your child. Find out if your child’s bruising was caused by negligence and if you’re eligible for compensation by speaking with our infant cephalohematoma attorneys in Gilbert, AZ.
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The Definition of Cephalohematoma
Cephalohematoma is a really long word for a really simple thing to understand:
- Cephalo – Head
- Hema – Blood
- Toma – Growth
The major sign of cephalohematoma is a lump on the head. This lump is filled with blood from damage to sensitive blood vessels around the outside of the skull. The classic cartoon image of a lump on someone’s head after they’ve been hit could be a cephalohematoma.
When an infant has it, it means they’ve been injured on the head somehow. It can look quite dramatic! In the hospital, this can be from the pressure of birth or from a doctor’s malpractice. Outside, it could be because someone accidentally dropped an infant on their head or abused the child.
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Are Cephalohematomas Dangerous?
There are some potential risks from these lumps in infants. Jaundice, anemia, and infection are all possible. But their real danger is that they’re a signal for potential deeper damage. That deeper damage could be the basis of a lawsuit.
On their own, these lumps clear up on their own once the body reabsorbs the blood. This can take a few weeks. While it heals, it needs medical attention to watch for problems. Most clear up without further complication.
If your child has one after birth, they should have their head imaged immediately to look for skull fractures, brain damage, or other birth injuries. When this doesn’t happen and the child develops further injuries that could have been prevented with early detection, that opens doctors to liability.
The Key Challenge in Birth Injury Cases
Here’s the key challenge to overcome in all birth injury lawsuits. Medicine is an uncertain practice, but there are certain standards of care for different situations. These may carry risks, like the use of a vacuum extraction device, but the reward is supposed to outweigh the risk, in theory.
If a medical professional breaks the standards of care through negligence or misapplication of a medical technique and injures someone because of that breach, they are vulnerable to a lawsuit and the victims deserve compensation.
For example, if a doctor needs to use forceps, which are like a pair of tongs, to remove a child then they must not squeeze so hard that the child’s head gets squeezed too hard or pulled in a dangerous direction. It’s easy to see how squeezing too hard can damage an infant’s fragile skull.
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Reasons to Sue Doctors for Infant Cephalohematoma
Not all cases of infant cephalohematoma are preventable. Natural pressure from birth can cause them. However, there are steps doctors can take to minimize the risks. Prenatal examinations, birthing techniques, and cesarean sections are just some of the ways to do this.
If your doctor uses forceps or vacuum extraction devices during your child’s birth, the chances for infant cephalohematoma raise dramatically, especially the latter. Normally these devices are used to prevent an emergency during birth like a child stuck in the canal.
A doctor that grabs too hard or pulls the wrong way can damage the sensitive tissues around the skull and create a cephalohematoma or create even worse damage. You should speak with a birth injury lawyer and get medical imaging for your child’s head if your child has a cephalohematoma and these devices were used.
Possible Compensation You Could Receive
If you and your birth injury attorney are successful in your infant cephalohematoma case, you can get financial compensation from the doctors, hospitals, and other medical professionals who were responsible. You can get paid for things like:
- All medical care costs related to the injury and its consequences, including transportation, medical devices, and drugs
- All lost wages from needing to care for your child after their injury
- Pain and suffering damages
- And more
When we investigate your case, our lawyers in Gilbert, AZ, will examine all potential routes to compensation. Unlike some states, Arizona has no caps on civil claims. You and your child deserve justice, and we can help you get answers for what happened and get you compensated.
Is There a Deadline to Start My Case?
It’s always better to speak with a lawyer about starting a birth injury case sooner than later. As time passes, evidence can get lost, and insurance companies can find more reasons to say that their policyholders did not cause your child’s injuries.
There are also hard deadlines for suing called the statute of limitations. Mothers injured by their doctors during birth have two years from when they were aware they were injured or should have been aware.
Injuries to minors under Arizona law have a delay on the statute of limitations. Minors have until their 20th birthday to sue on their own or have their parents sue for them. The clock for the statute of limitations starts on their 18th birthday, so they have two years past that.
Tell Your Story to a Gilbert, AZ, Infant Cephalohematoma Attorney
Birth injury cases require powerful evidence and expert legal knowledge to win. The best way to know if you have a case is to speak with a birth injury lawyer with experience in infant cephalohematoma cases. You can find one at Birth Injury Lawyers Group.
Let us hear your story and connect you with a Gilbert, AZ, attorney with the skills you need to win. Call or text us at the number on your screen or send us an email through our contact page. We’ll schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with you to hear your story and tell you if you have a case.