Yes, a baby can be born with a skull fracture. Specifically, this type of injury can occur if the baby’s head is exposed to pressure during delivery. A skull fracture may occur during a difficult delivery with a large child or a small mother. It may also occur if a doctor mishandles the child during delivery and applies excessive force on the baby manually or with birth assistance tools.
If medical negligence caused your child’s birth injuries, the responsible party may be liable to you in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
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Skull Fractures That Occur During Birth
Sometimes, the baby will suffer a skull fracture as he or she passes through the mother’s birth canal. If the baby has a large head, and the mother’s birth canal is smaller than average, the baby’s head may receive a lot of pressure from the birth canal and from the mother’s pelvis.
If this pressure is too great, the skull could suffer a fracture during delivery.
Doctors caring for the mother during pregnancy may be able to anticipate this kind of problem, taking measurements of the baby’s head inside the womb. If doctors think this could be a problem, they may order a cesarean section (C-section) birth instead as a safer alternative to a vaginal birth. Failure to screen a mother for a difficult birth may be considered an act of medical negligence.
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Improper Use of Delivery Tools
When doctors choose to assist the delivery with the use of birthing tools, this has to be done carefully. If the doctor makes a mistake in applying the tools, it can cause a skull fracture for the newborn. Some of the tools in use may include:
- Forceps: these are used to guide the baby’s head through the mother’s birth canal when the birth seems to be taking too long. Placing too much pressure on the baby’s head with the forceps could lead to a dangerous skull fracture.
- Vacuum extraction: this involves applying a cup attached to a vacuum pump to the baby’s head to help guide it out of the birth canal. Improper use of a vacuum extraction device could cause a fracture to the skull if applied improperly.
Signs of Skull Fracture in Newborns
A newborn has a skull that is not fully fused. The multiple plates in the skull are connected with a tissue that holds them together until they fuse. Excessive pressure on these plates can create a fracture.
Some of the signs of a skull fracture in an infant may include:
- Misshapen head
- Odd bumps or bruises on the head
- Fluid leaking from the nose or ears
- Exhaustion or fatigue
If you notice any of these signs in your child, bring them to a doctor for an immediate evaluation.
If doctors notice a skull fracture through an X-ray or MRI, they will monitor the baby’s health. Some fractures may heal on their own with no action from the doctor within three to six months.
Other times, the doctor may recommend surgery to try to repair the fracture.
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Brain Injuries Related to Skull Fractures
Sometimes, the traumatic event that causes a skull fracture, or the skull fracture itself, can also cause brain damage. If your child was diagnosed with a skull fracture, you may want to have a doctor examine them for the possibility of a brain injury, and to closely monitor your child for delays in reaching any developmental milestones as they grow.
Some brain injuries, such as cerebral palsy, could leave a child with life-long symptoms and limitations.
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group May Be Able to Help You
If your baby was born with a skull fracture, and you believe it was caused by negligence on the part of the medical personnel, you have the right to attempt to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against the responsible parties.
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group helps families across the U.S. in medical malpractice lawsuits. We may be able to handle your insurance claim or medical malpractice lawsuit when we represent you.
Contact the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 for a free review of your case today. A member of our team is standing by to discuss your child’s injuries and your legal options. We represent clients on a contingency-fee-basis with no up-front payments required.