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Infant cephalohematoma happens in 1-2% of births. Cephalohematoma is a condition in which blood collects under the skin of the scalp at one point on the baby's head and creates a round lump. While this injury is usually very minor, it can lead to serious complications or evidence a deeper problem. If your child has developed complications from this injury due to medical negligence, talk to a Baltimore birth injury lawyer from Murphy, Falcon & Murphy.
Causes of Infant Cephalohematoma
Cephalohematoma occurs in difficult labor. Occasionally, veins burst under pressure due to natural birth processes, but it is more common when forceps are involved or when a vacuum extraction has been wrongly performed. If this injury occurs during a forceps delivery, it may be evidence of an underlying skull fracture. Cephalohematoma may not be visible at first. Usually, a lump occurs several hours after the birth, and will not spread.
Complications of Infant Cephalohematoma
Left untreated, many cases of cephalohematoma will resolve themselves. You doctor will be able to advise you on proper action after examining the infant. Injuries stemming from cephalohematoma, however, may not be so easily dismissed.
Serious complications stemming from or evidenced by cephalohematoma may include:
- Skull Fracture: A forceps delivery may have caused a skull fracture resulting in cephalohematoma. Your physician may thoroughly check for skull fracture in this case.
- Jaundice: To replace lost blood cells, infants may develop jaundice after a case of cephalohematoma. This may require phototherapy treatment.
- Infection: Very rarely, a doctor will drain the infant's scalp area. However, this may result in infection and abscesses and lead to other problems.
- Anemia: Decreased oxygen delivery to the blood can impact the baby's brain and body. In very severe cases, a blood transfusion may be needed.
- Calcium Deposits: During the healing process, calcium deposits may form on the baby's scalp. Occasionally, these bumps may permanently disfigure the baby's head.
Once your baby has been inspected by a trusted physician, various treatments or medications may be prescribed to treat your baby's symptoms or prevent further complications. Often, these cases heal on their own. As they heal, it is important to note any additional bulging or symptoms of other illnesses.
When Should I Consider Taking Legal Action?
Legal action may be appropriate if medical negligence was present. If your child was injured due to negligence, contact an experienced birth injury attorney from Murphy, Falcon & Murphy.
For a free initial consultation, call us at 410.983.6266.