After having a difficult delivery, you may notice that your child is exhibiting symptoms of a skull fracture, such as a skull bulge or depression in the head. This will likely leave you wondering, “What causes skull fractures in infants? Extra pressure on the baby’s head during delivery could cause a skull fracture, as could someone dropping the baby, or the improper use of birthing tools.
If the baby suffers a skull fracture during delivery or a day or two afterward while still in the hospital, the negligence of medical personnel may be the cause. In cases like this, you may have a case of medical malpractice against the doctor or hospital.
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Skull Injuries During Birth
Some babies will suffer a skull fracture during delivery, but this is not a common occurrence. When it does happen, it often indicates that someone involved in the delivery of the baby made a mistake. There are a few different circumstances and errors that may lead to such an injury, as outlined below.
Fractures in Birth Canal
During a pregnancy, doctors should monitor the size of the baby before the delivery process begins. This will help them verify that the birth can occur safely. Being larger than average could be what causes skull fractures in infants. If the baby’s head or body is too large to pass through the mother’s birth canal, it may cause complications during vaginal delivery. In this situation, the doctor may want to order a C-section birth instead.
If the head becomes lodged when the baby is moving through the birth canal, the resulting pressure could cause excessive damage to the baby’s skull, leading to the potential for a skull fracture.
Improper Use of Birthing Tools
If the birth is taking too long because the baby is struggling to pass through the birth canal, it could create a dangerous situation. In response, doctors may employ birthing tools to help the baby move through the birth canal more smoothly.
A doctor may try one of two tools to aid in the birth:
- Forceps, which grip both sides of the head to guide the baby through the birth canal.
- Vacuum extraction, which is a cap-like vacuum pump the doctor attaches to the head to pull the baby through.
If the doctor applies too much force with either of these tools, it can cause a fracture in the baby’s skull. Doctors who improperly use these birthing tools could be found negligent in a medical malpractice claim if the newborn suffers a skull fracture or another birth injury.
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Skull Injuries After Birth
If born healthy with no initial complications, the newborn could still suffer a skull fracture in another way. Although it is rare, a newborn could suffer some sort of skull fracture while at the hospital in the days after the delivery.
It is possible that a nurse carrying the baby could slip and fall in the nursery or in the mother’s recovery room, causing the baby to fall or bump against something. Though not technically a birth injury, this could still qualify as a medical malpractice case.
Once newborns go home, the risk of a skull fracture still exists. As the baby begins to crawl and walk, the chances of a skull fracture from a fall increase.
Symptoms of a Skull Fracture
If you are concerned about your infant having a skull fracture, it can help to understand the symptoms of this injury. If you notice any of the following symptoms, make sure to speak with your baby’s pediatrician:
- Repeated vomiting
- Leaking a clear fluid from the ears or nose
- Odd lumps or indentions in the head
If the skull fracture is serious enough, a baby could suffer a brain injury that leads to a life-changing condition or disability.
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The Birth Injury Lawyers Group Will Review Your Case
If your newborn suffers some sort of head injury during or soon after delivery, you may be able to recover damages. When you hire the Birth Injury Lawyers Group to represent your interests in a medical malpractice case, we will work hard to study the facts and determine what happened to cause your infant’s skull fracture.
If doctors or other medical personnel behaved in a negligent manner, we want to help you hold them accountable. For a free review of your case, call us today at (800) 222-9529.