Caput Succedaneum Birth Injury Malpractice
Were you or your unborn baby the victim of doctor negligence that led to a Caput Succedaneum birth injury? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers handle medical malpractice claims and can serve as your legal advocates.
Call our birth injury attorneys today at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form to schedule a free case evaluation to discuss filing a medical malpractice case against every at-fault party responsible for causing the baby's head injuries.
We can provide a private setting to share your confidential or sensitive information on how your baby suffered severe injuries when the doctor failed to provide immediate medical intervention.
What Causes a Caput Succedaneum Birth Injury?
Caput succedaneum is a common condition in newborns that usually results from external pressure placed on the baby's head during difficult deliveries. Amniotic fluid sacs mainly protect the baby's skull. The swelling of the newborn's scalp is often brought on by uterine or vaginal pressure during a vertex (head first) delivery.
Physicians often misdiagnose caput succedaneum for more life-threatening severe conditions, including hydrocephalus, where the baby's head swells. Other more severe conditions could include a skull fracture, brain bleed, or infant cephalohematoma.
Caput succedaneum often happens during head-first childbirth deliveries when the mother's pelvis exerts pressure on the child's head, injuring the scalp. Most often, membranes break from the excessive pressure on the child's scalp and are no longer cushioned by the womb's amniotic sac.
Repeated compression that builds up strain and tension against the baby's head can be caused by numerous exterior factors, including the mother's pelvis during labor contractions. Other exterior factors that could build pressure on the baby's scalp include obstetric devices, like vacuum extractors and forceps used during delivery.
The scalp swells due to the child's birth trauma, but the condition resolves itself typically over the next several days in less severe cases. However, careful monitoring of the child is required during the healing process to eliminate common risk factors.
In some cases, caput succedaneum, primarily caused by vacuum suctioning, leads to internal bleeding. Excessive bleeding could cause more life-threatening birth injuries with severe complications if left unchecked, like brain damage requiring immediate medical attention.
An obstetrician may recommend undergoing a C-section if it meets an appropriate standard of care to ensure pregnancy and delivery with an optimal outcome that avoids preventable problems like caput succedaneum.
Caput Succedaneum Could Lead to Excessive Bilirubin Levels
The primary cause for concern is the level of bilirubin in the blood, which can lead to developmental delays if elevated for too long. Any stressful birth injury diagnosed early during a prenatal ultrasound and treated adequately, including increasing bilirubin levels, could prevent further difficulty.
Without proper monitoring and treatment, caput succedaneum could trigger extraordinarily severe and potentially life-threatening kernicterus caused by excessive bilirubin in the baby's bloodstream. Kernicterus in newborn babies is a severe medical condition that affects the brain, potentially resulting in infant jaundice. Jaundice is a common condition suffered by newborn babies.
Jaundice is diagnosed when the baby's eyes and skin appear yellowish when the liver can no longer strip bilirubin in the blood. However, doctors should closely monitor the baby's condition and the common signs of severe complications to ensure that it stops as soon as possible.
A Doctor's Reluctance to Treat Caput Succedaneum According to Standards of Care
Many doctors will avoid treating mild forms of caput succedaneum when the scalp area swelling needs to be drained. Potentially, draining the area with severe swelling increases the chance of infection at the drainage site.
Most common birth injuries are caused by head trauma, including caput succedaneum. During labor and delivery, the child's skull and brain are sensitive to physical trauma, typically caused by the doctor's negligence or rough handling during the birthing process.
A baby's high birth weight (macrosomic condition) places them at greater risk of experiencing difficult, prolonged labor and delivery. However, a baby could also suffer a caput succedaneum injury during a cesarean section, although the tension on the newborn's head could still have occurred before the procedure started.
The moment fetal membranes rupture, the womb's amniotic sac no longer provides a supportive cushion to the child's head. The use of forceps and vacuum extraction to facilitate a vaginal delivery immediately trigger caput succedaneum.
Excessive force can damage the child by rupturing blood vessels or bruising the skull or brain tissue.
Experienced Caput Succedaneum Attorneys Helping Medical Negligence Plaintiffs
Did a medical professional fail to adhere to the medical standard of care, which hurt your child? You might have grounds to file a medical malpractice case. If your infant has suffered a severe injury, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the responsible party.
Contact one of our Chicago, IL medical malpractice attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC if your child suffers from Caput Succedaneum caused by issues related to an extended or distressed delivery. Call us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form for legal advice on taking civil action for common birth injuries.
Let our law firm obtain justice and financial compensation on your behalf through legal representation to ensure your family receives adequate funds to pay for hospital bills, medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering due to unfortunate circumstances.
We will help you with general information to determine whether the attending doctors may have committed an act of negligent malpractice and how best to pursue legal action through a birth injury lawsuit.
How Blood Loss Affects Bilirubin Levels Leading to Birth Injuries
Bilirubin is a compound found in bile produced by the liver and an essential part of our digestive systems. When the liver cannot remove bilirubin from the blood, it causes jaundice, a yellowing discoloration of the skin, or the whites of the eyes.
Internal bleeding can elevate bilirubin levels when newborns' livers can no longer clean the excess bilirubin from the blood fast enough.
The good news is that most cases of caput succedaneum are resolved within a few days, making it unnecessary for the doctor to treat the condition.
However, when physicians do not adequately monitor babies with symptoms of jaundice and complications like caput succedaneum result, they may be liable for medical malpractice if developmental problems ensue. Serious complications could include:
- Brain injuries
- Developmental delays
- Hearing impairment or deafness
- Cerebral palsy
Any undiagnosed case of caput succedaneum could cause temporary or permanent problems. Any misdiagnosed condition could fail to treat the trauma in time before other conditions and injuries arise.
Many physicians will avoid treating mild forms of caput succedaneum when swelling on the baby's skull needs to be drained. Potentially, draining the swollen area increases the chance of infection at the drainage site.
Birth Injuries: Complications Associated With Caput Succedaneum
It is not uncommon for a child to develop caput succedaneum before delivery if the mother's water breaks early or if there is not enough amniotic fluid present to protect the child's head in a difficult delivery. In other words, once the membrane breaks, the danger is increased.
Children delivered via cesarean section must also be monitored for the condition because it can be present regardless of the delivery method. Performing a vacuum extraction often increases the risk of caput succedaneum and the severity of the injury by pulling the baby through the birth canal.
Sometimes, the use of forceps during delivery can also cause damage to the infant's head when extracting the baby from the birth canal. This type of birth injury happens when vaginal delivery is complex, and it can harm the baby's face and skull. Doctors sometimes do not exercise reasonable care when the baby cannot easily make it through the birth canal.
The injured skull is a minor issue that could heal in a few days. However, failure to monitor infants' bilirubin levels when known that they have caput succedaneum is the primary cause of developmental issues such as cerebral palsy, brain damage, or deafness in infants due to severe swelling.
Developing a halo scalp ring is one possible subsequent injury that a baby may suffer from too much force against the mother's pelvis during delivery. This birthing trauma causing caput succedaneum injuries could lead to hair loss on the baby's scalp.
Cephalohematoma and Caput Succedaneum
The use of forceps or vacuum can lead to caput succedaneum and infant cephalohematoma that are often diagnosed based on the type of bleeding and location.
Cephalohematoma typically develops when blood is collected between the skull bone periosteum and bone without crossing the suture lines. Caput succedaneum occurs when the scalp has diffused swelling with a subcutaneous fluid collection not related to the periosteum's poorly defined margins.
Additionally, cephalohematoma is rare in severe cases, whereas caput is much more common when families and parents are less likely to worry about long-term problems.
Medical care for the baby's injuries is costly, and you should not need to bear the financial burden of the medical bills in addition to watching your child suffer throughout their life.
Were your baby's developmental problems, brain damage, hearing impairment, cerebral palsy, or other common birthing injuries from severe complications caused by medical mistakes? Do you believe that medical malpractice during labor and delivery or a c-section caused your child's health problems?
Talk with a birth injury lawyer to weigh your legal options to hold the physician and medical personnel and their insurance company financially accountable for the stressful delivery resulting in a caput succedaneum injury.
Your Birth Injury Attorneys for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Did a doctor hurt your baby leading to a birth injury? Contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC to arrange a free consultation with a medical negligence attorney who has experience prosecuting birth injuries.
We understand that you have enough to worry about as it is, so we handle every aspect of your civil claim on your behalf. Call our medical malpractice lawyers today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your legal rights.
All confidential and sensitive information you discuss with us will create an attorney-client relationship to ensure privacy.
Our medical malpractice law firm offers every potential client a "No Win – No Fee Guarantee," meaning you will pay no upfront fees to handle your case until we obtain compensation on your behalf through a negotiated settlement or jury verdict.
Many medical malpractice cases have already been resolved through million-dollar settlements to ensure families have sufficient financial compensation for providing all the treatment and caring their child requires.
Our law firm currently provides legal services to medical malpractice clients in the following localities: Illinois, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, and Washington DC (District of Columbia), and can help your family too.