A caput succedaneum is a type of birth injury that involves a swelling on the scalp of a newborn baby. This swelling can be caused by a number of factors, some which are normal and occur naturally, and others which are caused by negligence in the delivery room or failure to properly monitor babies post delivery. A caput succedaneum, or caput for short, isn’t typically considered a very serious birth injury. It’s fairly common, and in most cases, it resolves fairly well. That being said, it’s critical for doctors to properly diagnose and monitor any newborn baby with a caput, due to the potential for dangerous life-threating complications. If your child has suffered from complications of a caput, you need to contact a personal injury attorney with proven birth injury experience as soon as possible.
Lengthy and Difficult Delivery
One of the largest risk factors for a caput succedaneum is a lengthy and difficult or complicated delivery. With a complicated and long delivery, there is a lot that can go on inside of the womb. In some cases, doctors may use forceps, vacuums or other medical devices that can pose a risk to a newborn baby’s safety, if misused. If a mother’s water broke early, or if there were other in utero ruptured membranes, it’s possible that you could be facing a caput injury. With any lengthy and difficult delivery, whether there was a C-section involved or a vaginal delivery, it’s essential to find out of all medical protocols and procedures were necessary and safely executed by doctors and birthing teams. Listed below are some potential causes and risk factors for a caput succedaneum.
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- Complicated or lengthy delivery
- Early water break
- Inappropriate delivery techniques
- Low amniotic fluid
- Vacuum misuse
- Excessive pulling
- Forceps extraction
- Early rupture of membranes in utero
Caput Succedaneum Birth Injury
This birth injury, in most cases, can be fairly mild and when monitored and treated appropriately, resolves safely. A caput involves the swelling of a newborn baby’s scalp. The baby may present with a puffy appearance on the scalp. In some cases, there may be bruising or discoloration in the area of the injury. If you notice any swelling or puffiness of your newborn baby’s scalp or anywhere on the child’s head, it’s important to bring this to the attention of your doctor. While in many cases, a caput can resolve easily and safely, there are potential complications to be aware of, that left untreated and unmonitored could lead to lifelong injuries to the child. Listed below are the signs and symptoms associated with a caput succedaneum.
Symptoms of a Caput Succedaneum
- Puffy appearance of scalp
- Bruising or discoloration of scalp
- Swelling on scalp
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In most cases, a caput succedaneum birth injury should resolve well, however, complications involving jaundice can make a caput a dangerous birth injury that can lead to damaging lifelong injuries. It can sometimes take a newborn baby’s liver a few days to start functioning, this means any type of swelling or bruising can be dangerous. If a baby is not properly monitored and treated and has both jaundice and a caput, you could be looking at potential injuries like brain damage, cerebral palsy and permanent hearing loss.
Monitoring a Newborn with Caput
The most important part of treating a newborn baby with a caput is proper monitoring. A caput can happen for a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons can occur naturally during the course of delivery or pre-delivery complications and some of those reasons occur as a result of medical negligence during labor and delivery. If your child is facing the damaging consequences of complications of a caput succedaneum, it’s important to find out how it occurred and whether any type of negligence in the labor and delivery process contributed to or caused the injuries.
A caput succedaneum birth injury should not result in a child with permanent brain damage, cerebral palsy or deafness. It’s up to medical teams and doctors to appropriately monitor any birth injuries or potentially risk situations that could result in dangerous injuries to newborn babies. No matter what kind of birth injury your child is suffering from, it’s important to have a personal injury lawyer on your side who has proven birth injury case experience.
If your baby is suffering from the lifelong impacts of complications associated with a caput succedaneum, contact the skilled and proven birth injury team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for a free case consultation.