Having a new child in the home is exciting for parents and siblings. However, when a child is born with a birth-related injury, the parents are rightfully concerned and often wonder if the injury could have been prevented.
One of the potential birth injuries newborns suffer is called “cephalohematoma” and is defined by Stanford Medicineas:
“…a collection of blood under the periosteum of a skull bone. Because of its location, it is impossible for cephalohematoma to cross suture lines. If more than one bone is affected, there will be a separation between the two areas at the suture line as seen in this photo — the sagittal suture separates the bilateral parietal cephalohematomas. On palpation, these areas feel fluctuent.”
If you believe your child suffered cephalohematoma or any birth injury as a result of medical malpractice or negligence during labor or delivery, contact Davis Levin Livingston. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of injured and wronged individuals in Honolulu and throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
Call (808) 740-0633 or contact the firm online for a free and confidential consultation.
What Causes Cephalohematoma?
Cephalohematoma is most commonly found in first-born infants.
Some of the potential risk factors include:
- Forced deliveries – When a doctor must use forceps or vacuum devices to help a child through the birth canal, there may be head trauma.
- Long labor – Mothers who are in labor for long periods of time may have an infant with cephalohematoma.
- Oversized babies – Birthing a child larger than nine pounds increases the potential for cephalohematoma.
Symptoms of Cephalohematoma
Generally, the symptoms are fairly mild when a child has a cephalohematoma. As a rule, parents may notice a slight swelling in their infant’s scalp. Typically, the swelling will go away on its own but in some cases, it does not go away and can lead to more serious health problems. Infections, pain, and other issues should be reviewed immediately by your baby’s health care professional.
How is Cephalohematoma Treated?
Typically, health care professionals will not do anything to treat this type of birth injury unless it appears the infant is suffering additional problems such as jaundice, low blood counts, or other problems. As a rule, this condition will rectify itself within a few months and if it does not, parents should seek a consultation with a qualified medical professional.
Complications Associated with Cephalohematoma
By some estimates, between 0.2% – 2.5% of live births result in a cephalohematoma and no treatment is necessary in the majority of cases. However, when a doctor has deliberately ignored warning signs that an infant could be at risk, parents may have the grounds to file a suit for the injury the infant has suffered, particularly in those cases where the baby has suffered other injuries such as a fractured skull, jaundice, or other side-effects.
Parents who have an infant born with this birth injury should speak with a Hawaii cephalohematoma attorney who understands the personal injury statutes to determine whether or not they have a case for negligence. When a mother is in labor for a prolonged period of time or the need for a forced delivery becomes evident, there may have been other options that could have prevented this type of birth injury.
What to do When Your Child Has Cephalohematoma
Regardless of how minor it may appear at first, there are potentially serious consequences of this type of birth injury. Some infants may require additional treatment under colored lights to break up bilirubin in their liver which can cause jaundice and, in some cases, the cephalohematoma could have such a serious health impact the infant may require a blood transfusion. Parents should carefully monitor their infant’s behavior, as well as the swelling, and watch for changes that could indicate a more serious problem.
If you believe your child suffered a birth injury that could have been prevented, it is important to seek competent legal advice. In some cases, these types of injuries simply happen, but in others, they occur as a direct result of medical negligence. Your infant should not have to suffer because a doctor did not follow appropriate medical procedures and minimize the potential risks for you or your infant.
If you are a parent of a child who is suffering a cephalohematoma, consider contacting the birth injury attorneys at Davis Levin Livingston for a free consultation. We will be happy to review your case and determine what potential actions you may be able to take to recover financially from the additional costs of treating this birth injury.
Contact us today at (808) 740-0633 for a free consultation with an experienced Hawaii cephalohematoma injury attorney.