The last thing parents want is for their newborn to suffer a birth injury. Unfortunately, birth injuries can result from defects, accidental trauma or medical malpractice.
Newborn cephalohematoma is just one of the many risks associated with birth.
What is it?
Newborn cephalohematoma involves blood collecting around damaged blood vessels in the baby’s skull. This appears as a red spot around the scalp that can grow over time.
What are the effects?
The collected blood puts excess pressure on the baby’s brain. Without treatment, the pressure could slowly increase and the baby could suffer disabilities as a result. Many cases will heal on their own, but in the most serious cases, some could become chronic or even fatal.
How is it caused?
Any pressure on the newborn’s head during the birthing process could potentially cause newborn cephalohematoma. The use of forceps or vacuums, for example, can increase pressure dramatically. Medical malpractice can also lead to this type of birth injury. Without sufficient training and experience, doctors could make mistakes and injure the newborn.
Are there any risk factors?
Large babies, babies born feet-first and babies that require birth-assisting technology are all at higher risk for newborn cephalohematoma. Difficult births can add pressure to the delivery nurses and doctors, increasing the likelihood of mistakes. However, even easy births can result in a birth injury if the doctors or nurses are negligent.
Couples can minimize the damage caused by hematomas by monitoring their baby’s symptoms and seeking treatment as soon as possible. Keeping track of the circumstances surrounding their baby’s birth can also help if the couple ever wants to file a lawsuit.