There are long term side effects due to an infant skull bulge in some cases, but other cases are minor, and children make a full recovery. The outcome depends greatly on the cause of the bulge.
Many babies born with a skull bulge have relatively minor injuries that cause this apparent swelling or knot. Some minor birth injuries that lead to a bulge on the baby’s head may heal fully and have no long term side effects.
However, more serious birth injuries, such as skull fractures with brain involvement, could lead to life-altering and disabling long-term conditions.
Ultimately, a doctor can give you the best information on whether your child may experience long term side effects due to their skull bulge, or if they can make a complete recovery.
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Understanding the Causes of Infant Skull Bulges
One of the most common causes of bulges on a baby’s head is a cephalohematoma. This is bleeding between the scalp and the skull caused by broken blood vessels. It causes blood to pool in the area and may cause one or more bulges on the baby’s head. While vaginal delivery can cause a cephalohematoma, they can also occur in operative deliveries where a tool such as forceps or a vacuum extraction device are used. Reviews in Obstetrics & Gynecology reports that cephalohematomas occur:
- In 14% to 16% of vacuum-assisted deliveries
- In 2% of forceps-assisted deliveries
Many cephalohematomas resolve quickly and without extensive treatment. Observation is all that may be necessary while the blood under the scalp is reabsorbed by the body. In some cases, however, complications are possible. With treatment, long-term side effects of these complications may be avoidable.
When a child’s skull bulge is due to a bulging fontanelle or a skull fracture, it may be more likely that they suffer serious complications related to their injury. Anytime a child suffers a head injury that is serious enough to cause a skull fracture, a traumatic brain injury or brain damage may be possible.
Infant Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries can vary widely in severity from relatively mild to moderate to very severe. Brain damage can affect all areas of a baby’s life, as a child and throughout adulthood. Early intervention, therapy, and other treatment may be necessary to reduce the child’s symptoms and manage their condition as they grow.
Complications that may occur as a result of a traumatic brain injury during the birthing process may include cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, low vision or hearing, epilepsy, and more.
Even if your newborn does not have any sign of any of these conditions following delivery, if they suffered a skull fracture or birth injury, it is important that they are monitored closely to ensure they meet all developmental and motor milestones throughout their infant and toddler years and as they begin school.
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Long Term Side Effects and Birth Injury Medical Malpractice
If your baby suffered long term side effects due to an infant skull bulge that was caused by doctor negligence, you may be able to build a medical malpractice birth injury lawsuit against the doctor or medical facility responsible.
Doctor negligence could lead to a skull bulge and related conditions by:
- Failing to screen the mother for a difficult delivery when there was still time to plan for a safer alternative, such as a C-section delivery
- Use of excessive force manually, with forceps, or with a vacuum extraction device
- Failing to diagnose and treat an infant skull bulge or head injury, allowing for a worse outcome
It may be possible to recover compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit that will allow you to pay for your child’s current and future medical needs, ongoing care costs, the time you missed at work because of their appointments, out-of-pocket expenses, their mental anguish, and more.
Speak With a Member of Our Birth Injury Team for Free Now
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group helps families nationwide in medical malpractice lawsuits. Call us today at (800) 222-9529 for your free case review with a member of our team. We can discuss your child’s birth injury case and your legal options for seeking a settlement or monetary court award.
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group works on a contingency-fee basis, meaning our clients do not pay us attorney fees unless and until we build a successful case and recover compensation for them.