Cephalohematoma, a birth injury, can leave newborns with a noticeable bump on their head. This condition results from blood pooling under the baby’s scalp. It is often due to the pressure experienced during birth or from instrument-assisted deliveries.
While these deliveries are sometimes necessary, they can inadvertently cause such injuries. This happens when doctors do not perform with the utmost care and precision.
Cephalohematoma on babies
Cephalohematoma is a condition where there is an accumulation of blood beneath a newborn’s scalp. Notably, when babies have cephalohematoma, some may see its physical characteristics, such as:
- Visible swelling
- Well-defined bump
- Firm to touch
Other birth-related swellings may reduce within a few days. However, a cephalohematoma takes a long time to disappear. It may take several weeks or even months for the body to fully break down the clot, reducing the bump. This blood collection is outside the skull and does not directly affect the baby’s brain. But, it could potentially cause other complications for the baby.
Causing anemia and needing blood transfusion
Cephalohematoma can lead to anemia. This is because it can take away blood from the baby’s circulation. In fact, the baby could lose up to 10% of their total blood volume due to this condition. Symptoms like weakness, looking pale and being irritable might show up in the baby. These are signs of anemia. In severe cases, the baby might need a blood transfusion. This helps increase the number of red blood cells and can relieve symptoms of anemia. But blood transfusions aren’t without risks. They can lead to infections, allergic reactions or mismatched blood types.
Carelessness that lead to injuries
In the intricate process of childbirth, healthcare providers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of the child during treatment, as well as the mother. This includes taking necessary precautions to avoid complications like cephalohematoma, which can be caused by improper use of birthing tools such as forceps or vacuum extractors. If severe cephalohematoma symptoms occur, parents may consider pursuing a medical malpractice claim. While no amount can truly compensate for their distress, it may help cover necessary expenses.