Philadelphia Cephalohematoma Attorneys


Cherry Injury Law wants Pennsylvania parents to be aware of a condition called cephalohematoma, which is a
birth injury that may appear on an infant’s scalp after delivery. An accumulation of excess blood between the skull and the thick protective membrane called the periosteum is the cause of this type of injury. Because it isn’t usually a dangerous condition, doctors frequently skip laboratory examinations of these injuries. However, certain cephalohematomas can be difficult to distinguish from other potentially dangerous hematomas. If left untreated, they might lead to hazardous complications of their own.

Cephalohematomas first appear as small, soft bumps on the head that often harden and heal over time. However, a continuation of the bleeding that created the
cephalohematoma can cause jaundice, anemia or an infection of the brain. This birth injury may also indicate the presence of an undiagnosed small skull fracture. Any of these complications could result in more severe bleeding or clotting or even neurological damage. At this point, they could require expensive medical treatment to resolve.

The usual
cause of a cephalohematoma is the use of special instruments to facilitate a difficult delivery such as forceps or a vacuum. In the case of vacuum extractions, a special cup attached to a vacuum pump is placed on the head of a baby that is lodged in the birth canal. The cups are usually rigid, which may result in a cephalohematoma during the suctioning process. Doctors can reduce this risk by doing the following:

  • Confirm there is enough room to pull the baby past the mother’s pelvis before delivery
  • Properly adjust suction pressure
  • Carefully position the suction cup against the baby’s head
  • Minimize the duration of suction

The fetus should also be at least 37 weeks of gestational age before being delivered with the aid of a vacuum pump.

Large babies or babies who otherwise take a long time to be born may also be injured while hitting the mother’s pelvis. Doctors should monitor the growth of a fetus well before labor to determine if a Cesarean section should be used to avoid the potential complications inherent in the vaginal birth of a large baby.

PA birth injury attorneys at Cherry Injury Law of Pennsylvania encourage parents to learn all about cephalohematomas, the risks that come from improper diagnosis or treatment of these bruises and their legal rights should their newborn suffer as a result of complications from a cephalohematoma.

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Pennsylvania Birth Injury Law

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