A cephalohematoma is a birth injury that presents as a bump or bulge on a newborn baby’s skull. This is a pooling of blood below the periosteum. It can feel like a small fluid-filled sack. While many of these cephalohematomas can be easily resolved with minimal or no complications, some of them lead to damaging long-term injuries. In severe cases, cephalohematomas can lead to complications like cerebral palsy, brain damage and dangerous infections. This pool of blood, and appearance of fluid, should always be taken very seriously, because it can be an indication of a more serious injury. After any type of birth injury, it’s important to contact a personal injury attorney who has birth injury case experience. It will be necessary to determine what caused your baby’s birth injury and if it could have been prevented.
Common Causes of Cephalohematomas
Most cephalohematomas are associated with the misuse of certain types of extraction tools during difficult deliveries. If a doctor misuses a tool like forceps or a vacuum, the baby is at risk for an injury like a cephalohematoma. Certain medical instruments, devices and procedures can increase your baby’s risk of developing a cephalohematoma or other associated birth injury. The risk is even greater if there is negligence during vacuum-assisted deliveries or when forceps are inappropriately used. Some labor and delivery conditions can also put newborn babies at a higher risk for cephalohematomas.
The delivery room can be a busy and apparently chaotic place, but doctors and birthing teams should be prepared for any emergencies or complications that arise. Forceful extraction methods are one of the most common causes of cephalohematomas. When applied judiciously and safely, these methods have important and safe application in the delivery room. If your child has suffered from a cephalohematoma after a forceful extraction method during delivery, it will be critical to get in touch with a personal injury attorney who has proven birth injury case experience, so you can get to the bottom of what went wrong during your child’s entrance into the world.
Potential Birth Injuries and Complications Associated With Cephalohematomas
- Skull fracture
- Cerebral palsy
- Nerve damage
- Erb’s palsy
- Brain damage
- Periventricular leukomalacia
- Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN)
Post-Birth Monitoring of Newborn Babies
Post-birth monitoring is essential for newborn babies, especially if there were any complications during labor and delivery. If babies aren’t properly monitored after birth, they could be at risk for losing critical time to treat and mitigate potential birth injuries. With cephalohematomas, it’s especially important to monitor for conditions like jaundice, hypotension and anemia. Any signs of infection should also be identified and addressed immediately. If post-birth medical monitoring is negligent, babies could suffer from irreversible long-term injuries that could have been prevented or mitigated, had a medical professional been appropriately monitoring.
Depending upon the severity of the cephalohematoma and the complications and potential birth injuries involved, families could be looking at expenses in the tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or more over the lifetime of their child. Many babies with severe birth injuries will need a variety of life-saving immediate interventions and procedures. In the long term, children may also need physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, rehabilitation, medical devices, mobility assistance and in-home care. Each situation is different and no two cases are exactly alike. It’s important to get with a personal injury lawyer with birth injury case experience. You and your family need to plan for immediate short-term expenses and long-term expenses for your baby.
A birth injury can change the course of a child’s life. A negligent moment during labor and delivery can cause irreparable harm to children and their families. When negligence happens in the delivery room, it’s essential to get to the bottom of what went wrong. Expenses for initial medical bills are just the tip of the iceberg. You and your lawyer can talk about life-care plans and expected expenses over your child’s lifetime. You have enough to focus on after the birth of a new baby. Let your lawyer be your advocate. A birth injury attorney can fight for your rights and help you get the compensation and justice you need after a birth injury.
If your baby has suffered from a cephalohematoma or related birth injury in or around the Jackson Metro Area, contact the skilled and proven birth injury team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for a free case consultation.
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