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Causes & Symptoms of Cephalohematoma

Posted in Birth Injury,News on July 13, 2016

baby in incubatorWhen a baby is born, it is supposed to be the most joyous time in any parent’s life. While it is still a happy time, there is nothing more devastating than know your baby has suffered some kind of injury because of a negligence-related act. This is unfortunately the case with infant cephalohematoma, a condition in which a hematoma occurs underneath the skin, in the periosteum of the child’s skill bone, or the tissue enveloping the baby’s brain. While it does not harm the brain cells of the baby, it can cause serious pooling of blood because of damaged blood vessels.

At such a distressing time, it can be difficult to determine what went wrong and how the problem occurred. However, it is important to understand the potential causes, as well as the symptoms the baby may experience. Understanding these factors can help you in pursuing a lawsuit if the injury was sustained due to some type of negligence. This is where Murphy, Falcon & Murphy comes in to help. Our Baltimore birth injury attorneys can help you determine the exact cause and hold the negligent party accountable. First, though, you should understand the causes and symptoms.

Causes of Cephalohematoma

There are numerous potential causes of cephalohematoma, but the condition most often occurs during the labor and delivery process. This is because a major cause is some form of trauma such as when the obstetrician improperly uses forceps or a vacuum extractor, or any other birth-assisting tool. This can potentially harm the baby’s head, causing an increased risk of cephalohematoma. Other potential factors that can cause the condition include a prolonged labor or failure to progress. Also, it’s possible during a first pregnancy or when the baby’s head is too large for the mother’s pelvic area.

Symptoms of Cephalohematoma

When an infant develops cephalohematoma, there are numerous symptoms that he or she may experience. Because it is a mostly internal condition, there may not be behavioral issues demonstrated, but you will notice some physical symptoms. These include jaundice — or a yellowish hue to the skin — anemia, infection, or unnatural bulges on the baby’s head. Some long-term damages the baby may sustain include development issues and deficiencies in the motor skills. In any case, cephalohematoma is still considered a serious brain injury and it is important to treat it as such in terms of determining the care necessary for the baby.

Treatment of cephalohematoma depends on the severity of the injury and often requires inspection and analysis of the baby using CT scans, MRIs, and other methods. In some cases, the condition may heal on its own, but in more severe cases, the baby may require surgeries, treatments, therapies, or medication. If the built up blood is excessive, the baby may need a blood transfusion. If the baby developed jaundice as a symptom of the cephalohematoma, the doctor may consider phototherapy as a treatment to lower the level of bilirubin.

If your baby sustained a serious condition such as cephalohematoma due to negligence-related action by the obstetrician, you may be able to pursue legal action.  Call Murphy, Falcon & Murphy and discuss your case with our skilled and experienced Baltimore birth injury attorneys. It is important to make sure you understand your rights and protect you and your family after such a devastating situation. We aim to hold any and all negligent medical professionals accountable for their actions and obtain the justice — and compensation — you and your family deserve when your baby has been harmed by someone else.