Cephalohematoma Malpractice Attorneys
Were you or your unborn baby the victim of medical malpractice that led to a birth injury? Did the obstetrician make an error that led to a severe birth injury? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers handle medical negligence cases and can serve as your legal advocates.
Call our birth injury lawyers today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form to schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your family's legal rights concerning your baby's preventable birth trauma. Let us review your confidential or sensitive information and seek justice on your behalf.
What is a Cephalohematoma Birth Injury?
Medical science refers to a cephalohematoma as a "subperiosteal collection of blood secondary to rupture of blood vessels between the skull and the periosteum." The definition refers to the collection of blood that accumulates under the skin on the child's scalp.
Cephalohematoma is a common type of birth injury caused by hemorrhaging between a baby's skull and the membrane that serves as a protective lining between the brain and bone.
In other words, what you may think is a minor injury increases the risk factors for more severe health complications in the future. Medical treatment may be necessary in some birth injury cases.
Infant Cephalohematoma is not a rare birthing complication that typically does not compromise the newborn's health. Most babies will heal on their own in a few weeks, but it may cause additional and more severe complications if not monitored properly.
However, if the pregnancy and delivery left the baby with a skull fracture, the child could be at serious risk for developing life-threatening, severe medical complications.
A cephalohematoma develops when a pool of blood amasses between the baby's skull and scalp. Usually, the baby's head caused a large bruise to develop due to birth trauma.
Damage to small blood vessels could cause a cephalohematoma during the delivery when pools of blood and clots develop between the bones in the head and the underlying membrane that lines the skull.
The blood is released by damaged blood vessels. It is often confused with a caput succedaneum, similar to bruising on a baby's scalp following birth. A cephalohematoma is not the same thing as a subdural hematoma, but it is also blood accumulation.
Both conditions are caused by the excess pressure exerted on the baby's head during birth and may be exacerbated by vacuum-assisted or forceps deliveries when the baby is having difficulty making it through the birth canal.
Delivery Complications Resulting in Birth Injuries
At times, the newborn requires help getting through the birth canal. The common complication makes labor last longer, especially when the fetus is in a non-optimal position or larger than average. All serious birth injuries should be handled immediately, as required to protect the mother and baby's well-being.
It might be challenging for the baby to come out naturally with or without the doctors' help. The parents should feel confident in the obstetrician's abilities to deliver the baby safely. That said, the family obstetrician should be on guard for any potentially dangerous situation and plan the labor and vaginal delivery accordingly.
It is not uncommon for the baby's head to push against the mother's pelvic bone during delivery (cephalopelvic disproportion). Any medical negligence could be catastrophic, leaving the baby severely injured or dead.
Jaundice is a severe but often not a non-life-threatening complication associated with developing a cephalohematoma when the blood breaks down. Nevertheless, doctors need to monitor childbirth-related jaundice after diagnosis to ensure that the condition does not lead to cerebral palsy, brain damage, deafness, or infection.
Diagnosing a cephalohematoma usually requires imaging technology, where an x-ray can detect evidence of an injury, hematoma, or other accumulated blood. Typically, the hematoma will remain on the baby's head for some time after most of the healing is over.
However, the physical presence of a complicated cephalohematoma might not be present in most imaging results.
Extraction Birthing Tools
A cephalohematoma is often the result of medical negligence when the obstetrician or delivering physician improperly or negligently used birthing tools, including obstetric forceps and vacuum extractors.
Forceps maneuver the baby's head and shoulders in the birth canal by cupping the baby's head. However, safely using forceps requires the highest level of care and skill to prevent injury.
A vacuum extractor is usually the last-ditch tool obstetricians use before recommending an emergency C-section. However, safely using the vacuum tool requires intense precision and diligent attention to protect the baby from catastrophic injury.
Most injuries to newborns' skulls are caused by instruments used during the birthing process— most notably the improper use of forceps or a vacuum. Therefore, the use of these devices should be considered a last resort, and if possible, a cesarean section should be considered to avoid undue injury to the child.
When vacuum-assisted childbirth or the use of forceps is required, physicians must take extra care to monitor the baby's progress and promptly diagnose any condition that results from damage caused by vaginal delivery instruments.
Failure to do so may cause a medical malpractice lawsuit, and it is essential to weigh your legal options with a birth injury attorney if your child was injured during delivery. In addition, healthcare professionals should be held responsible for medical malpractice when the mother or child is injured due to a doctor's negligence.
Experienced Cephalohematoma Attorneys Helping You File a Medical Malpractice Claim for Financial Compensation
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is a personal injury law firm dedicated to representing the interests of those who have been harmed due to a doctor's negligence.
Did a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional negligence lead to a severe medical condition during or after the birth of your baby? Then, you might be eligible for financial compensation. Call our law firm to schedule your free initial consultation so we can give you legal advice about your medical malpractice claim.
Common Preventable Birth Injuries: Acute and Chronic Cephalohematoma
Physicians identify infant cephalohematoma in two categories: acute infant hematoma, where the symptoms appear immediately or within a few hours after the birth, and a chronic infant hematoma, where the symptoms might not appear until days or weeks after the child was born.
A failure to treat an acute infant hematoma that could have quickly healed could lead to chronic infant hematoma that may last years. A failure to properly diagnose acute and chronic cephalohematoma could lead to severe life-threatening injuries or death.
A cephalohematoma can result in severe complications, including:
- Brain damage
- Brain trauma
- Cerebral palsy
- Permanent disabilities
Babies who developed anemia from a cephalohematoma might require a blood transfusion. Sometimes, the doctor will misdiagnose a subdural hematoma (brain bleed) for a cephalohematoma. The misdiagnosis can easily threaten the baby's life.
Complications Caused by Unmonitored Cephalohematoma
Any form of hemorrhaging should be cause for additional monitoring in newborns because of the possibility of jaundice. In addition, the child's body is often unable to self-regulate bilirubin levels at this stage in its development, which can cause jaundice, brain damage, or cerebral/Erb's palsy.
Infant cephalohematoma-related infection is also possible due to internal bleeding and the child's environment. Common infections that accompany a cephalohematoma are meningitis and osteomyelitis. These may require intensive medical care.
In addition to elevated bilirubin levels and the risk of infections, newborns with cephalohematoma may be anemic or have a reduced red blood cell count, which is typical whenever blood loss is a factor.
When medical professionals fail to monitor a newborn's vital signs and perform proper diagnostic tests such as a CT scan to detect any of these complications, they are liable for any injury resulting from lack of or improper treatment.
Finally, cephalohematoma may also be present with a skull fracture.
Proving a Medical Malpractice Childbirth Injury Case
When families decide that they need to file a civil lawsuit against the doctor for medical malpractice, they'll need to prove their case in court. Proving a birthing malpractice case requires four elements that include:
- A doctor/patient relationship existed between the defendant and plaintiff
- The doctor owed the patient a duty of care based on established standards
- The doctor breached their duty of care that led to the baby's injuries
- The baby's injuries are actual and provable
Filing a civil lawsuit is not the same as a criminal case where the court expects the evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant caused the crime. Alternatively, plaintiffs with preventable birth injuries must prove the civil case by a preponderance of the facts, which is a significantly lower standard.
A standard of proof based on a preponderance of the evidence is crucial for resolving childbirth malpractice cases. The facts and life care plans must be found in the patient's medical records, expert testimony, eyewitness accounts, etc.
The facts in a case are rarely the smoking gun that proves what happened. For example, some childbirth injuries are caused by genetic mutations out of the doctor's hands.
However, the medical negligence attorney representing the plaintiff might show that the doctor failed to do the proper testing to identify the genetic mutation. The test results might have provided the information parents need to decide how to proceed with the pregnancy.
The plaintiff's attorney might show evidence like an ultrasound that proved that the fetus appeared healthy before childbirth. Additionally, the medical records might show that during the birthing process, the fetus showed signs of distress, but the physician failed to speed up the delivery or order a C-section to prevent further complications.
The medical records may prove that the child was trapped in the mother's birth canal for too long, leading to oxygen deprivation that caused brain damage and other severe injuries.
Your Attorneys for a Cephalohematoma Birth Injury
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our medical negligence attorneys have experience and success representing those who have suffered child injuries during labor or vaginal delivery. Our access to medical experts allows us to properly assess your case and seek fair compensation for past and future expenses related to severe injuries suffered due to negligence.
Was your child injured during vaginal delivery? Do you feel that the medical professional or hospital staff is liable? Call our cephalohematoma injury law office at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for a free consultation.
Our Illinois medical malpractice law firm is located in Chicago, but we will come to you if you cannot come to us to discuss your child's injuries. Our law firm works on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we accept payment for our services only after resolving your case through a negotiated settlement offer or jury verdict.
All confidential or sensitive information you share remains private through an attorney-client relationship. In addition, our entire team of birth injury attorneys currently follow CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Covid-19 (coronavirus pandemic) social distancing guidelines to ensure our clients' safety.
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.