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Cephalohematoma: Its symptoms, risks, and complications

Birth injuries account for a majority of infant deaths in the U.S. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that six out of 1,000 babies born die during their first twelve months, and birth defects have been among the major culprit (every 4 ½ minutes, a baby dies due to a birth defect). The website of attorneys Hach & Rose, LLP says that although birth defects can be a result of myriad different factors, most cases have been associated with medical negligence.

One of the most common birth defects recorded in the U.S. is cephalohematoma, or hematoma above the baby’s skull. It occurs when blood underneath the skin of the baby pools due to damaged blood vessels, creating a bulge that usually heals even without treatment.

But although most cases of cephalohematoma are self-limiting, its complications can become deadly. For instance, major pooling of blood underneath the skin of the baby’s head may cause a dramatic increase in the baby’s bilirubin level. Bilirubin is used to breakdown old red blood cells. As the blood underneath the skin of the baby’s head breaks down, bilirubin level is increased, which might put a strain on your baby’s liver. As such, parents and doctors should watch out for symptoms of liver failure, such as jaundice.

There are many potential causes of cephalohematoma. Babies with larger head, for instance, are more prone to cephalohematoma especially if it is larger than the mother’s pelvic area. Prolonged and difficult labor may also increase the risk of this minor birth injury. Medical negligence may also cause this condition. Wrong use of forceps and other instruments during assisted vaginal delivery, for instance, has been associated with cephalohematoma.

Danville personal injury attorneys would probably say that it is difficult for parents whose child was born with cephalohematoma deal with this situation, especially in severe cases where complications are more likely. And so, parents should watchfully look for signs of cephalohematoma complications, and promptly seek medical help when needed.