Cephalohematoma is a medical condition that takes place in one to two percent of all live births, and is more prone to occur if tools were used during delivery to help with the birth. It is believed to be a minor injury that heals without any significant medical issues. However, there are specific factors that can result in further complications.
It is a traumatic hematoma that takes place beneath the skin, in the periosteum, or membrane covering the outer surface, of the baby’s skull bone. Although it does not present any danger to the brain cells, it causes unneeded pooling of the blood from injured blood vessels located between the skull and inner layers of the skin.
Risk factors for cephalohematoma
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Usually, cephalohematoma takes place at the time of labor and delivery. In some cases, there are indications of birth trauma, but in others, there is no sign of any kind of trauma. However, the use of forceps during delivery has been associated with an increased risk of cephalohematoma. Additional risk factors are:
- The infant’s head is bigger than the mother’s pelvic area
- First pregnancy
- Challenging, lengthy labor
Symptoms of cephalohematoma
For the most part, cephalohematoma occurs internally and thus, it is not as apparent as a laceration, and infants may not exhibit the noticeable behavioral symptoms. Among the symptoms that can be observed are anemia, infection, jaundice, and unnatural bulges on the baby’s head.
Treatment of cephalohematoma
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After taking the baby to a physician, who will likely perform a CT scan and an MRI, the doctor may also prescribe treatments that will assist in your baby’s recovery. In the majority of cases, the baby will heal within three months. However, in some instances, the doctor may try to drain the blood that has accumulated, but this seldom happens, given the risk of infection and formation of abscess.
In addition, infants who are afflicted with cephalohematoma are at an increased risk for developing jaundice because while there is a breakdown of the blood, there is a rise in the amount of bilirubin. In cases where the level of bilrubin is extremely high, the physician may treat the condition with phototherapy.
Consequences of cephalohematoma
Cephalohematoma can suggest a more severe brain injury at the time of birth if the infant exhibits such symptoms as developmental delays or motor skill deficiencies. The condition has been associated with subsequent development of cerebral palsy and other developmental delays.
If you think your infant’s cephalohematoma is due to the negligence of a physician and/or hospital, call the Fort Lauderdale birth injury attorneys at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers.
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