Cephalhematoma is caused by hemorrhaging between a newborn’s skull and the membrane that serves as a protective lining between the brain and bone. It is often confused with a caput succedaneum, which is similar bruising that appears on an infant’s scalp following birth. Both conditions are caused by the pressure exerted on the child’s head during birth and may be exacerbated by vacuum assisted or forceps deliveries. A cephalhematoma itself is not life threatening and will heal on its own but it may be the cause of additional and more serious complications if not monitored properly. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is a personal injury law firm dedicated to representing the interests of those who have been harmed due to medical negligence.
Complications Caused by Unmonitored Cephalhematoma
Any form of hemorrhaging should be cause for additional monitoring in newborns because of the possibility of jaundice. The child’s body is often unable to self-regulate bilirubin levels (look here) at this stage in its development, which can cause jaundice, brain damage or cerebral palsy. Infection is also possible due to internal bleeding and the child’s environment. Common infections that accompany a cephalhematoma are meningitis and osteomyelitis.
In addition to elevated bilirubin levels and the risk of infections, newborns with cephalhematoma may be anemic or have a reduced red blood cell count, which is common whenever blood loss is a factor. When doctors fail to monitor a newborn’s vital signs and perform proper diagnostic tests to detect any of these complications, they are liable for any injury that results for lack of or improper treatment.
Impact of Instruments on Development of Cephalhematoma
The majority of injuries to newborns’ skulls are caused by instruments used during delivery— most notably the use of forceps or a vacuum. The use of these devices should be considered a last resort and if possible, a cesarean section should be considered in order to avoid undue injury to the child. If a vacuum assisted delivery or the use of forceps is required, it is important for physicians to take extra care to monitor the infant’s progress and promptly diagnose any condition that results from trauma caused by delivery instruments. Failure to do so may be cause for a medical malpractice lawsuit and it is important to weigh your legal options with a birth injury attorney if your child was injured during birth.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers birth injury attorneys’ have experience and success representing those who have suffered injuries during labor or delivery. Our access to medical experts allows us to properly assess your case and seek fair compensation for past and future expenses related to the injuries suffered due to negligence. If your child was injured during delivery and you feel that the doctor or hospital staff is liable, contact us today for a free consultation.
Our offices are located throughout Illinois and we will come to you if you are unable to make it to us. We understand that you have enough on your plate already, so we will never ask for payment upfront and our services are free if we are unable to collect compensation on your behalf.