Causes and Symptoms of Cephalohematoma

The birth of a new child is a joyous occasion for many families, and we place a great deal of trust in the healthcare providers tasked with an infant’s delivery. However, some medical professionals commit acts of negligent during labor, causing harm to a child and his or her mother.

One of the most serious birth injuries is known as cephalohematoma, a condition characterized by bleeding under a baby’s scalp. If your child develops cephalohematoma after labor and delivery, you and your family could hold the at-fault healthcare provider accountable through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

What Is Cephalohematoma?

Cephalohematoma is a medical condition that occurs when blood vessels break under the baby’s scalp, leading to blood accumulating on the top of the baby’s head. Infants have tiny, sensitive blood vessels that can sustain severe damage during birth. The cephalohematoma, or the pool of blood that collects on top of the skull but below the cranial membrane, may not be apparent at first. As hours and days pass after the child’s birth, the bleeding will grow and the cephalohematoma will become more obvious.

Common Causes of Cephalohematoma

Cephalohematoma can occur for several reasons. In most cases, a baby sustains severe pressure on his or her head during labor or delivery. As a result, his or her blood vessels break, leading to the accumulation of blood and the development of this condition. Any action that increases pressure or causes trauma to a child’s head during labor can lead to cephalohematoma.

This condition most often occurs during long, difficult labors and deliveries. Medical professionals may use dangerous, outdated birthing techniques in these situations, such as vacuums or forceps. This equipment can place significant pressure on a baby’s head and increase the risk of cephalohematoma.

How to Tell If Your Child Has Cephalohematoma

Symptoms of cephalohematoma may not appear immediately. Unlike other conditions involving broken blood vessels, cephalohematoma does not usually cause bruising or discoloration. As a result, it is important to regularly inspect and feel your baby’s skull during the first few days of his or her birth.

The most obvious sign of this condition is a soft, bulging area on top of his or her head. You may also notice a large, firm bulge somewhere on the baby’s head. Cephalohematoma may also cause internal conditions such as anemia, infection, or yellow skin or eyes, also known as jaundice.

What to Do After a Cephalohematoma Birth Injury

If you notice any symptoms of cephalohematoma, it is important to seek the help of a medical professional as soon as possible. Take your child to the doctor immediately and save all records related to his or her diagnosis, treatment, and injuries.

Treatment for cephalohematoma is typically non-invasive and usually involves monitoring the accumulated blood as it shrinks naturally. The blood will eventually be reabsorbed into your child’s body over a period of about three months. Do not attempt to drain or treat the cephalohematoma at home—this could increase your child’s risk of infection and serious complications.

If you believe that your doctor’s actions caused your child to develop a cephalohematoma, your family may qualify for a birth injury lawsuit. In these situations, it is important to seek the help of a Missouri medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. After seeking treatment for your child’s condition, bring your medical records to an attorney and schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options.