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caput succedaneum

Caput succedaneum is a birth injury which results in swelling of the head and scalp for newborns. It also has the potential to leave bruises on the face and scalp. While caput succedaneum is not usually life threatening on its own, it has the potential to cause lifelong complications. That means mounting medical bills, a lower quality of life, and many more issues. It’s important to hire a Houston birth injury attorney if your newborn suffered any sort of birth injury. This includes shoulder dystocia, cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, uterine rupture, and umbilical cord prolapse.

If your child suffered a birth injury due to medical malpractice, you need the experienced Houston personal injury attorneys at Reich & Binstock. We handle birth injury cases on behalf of victims and their loved ones. When innocent people suffer injuries and lifelong complications due to someone else’s negligence, that’s where we come in. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with us, please call 713-622-7271 or fill out our online intake form today.

What Is Caput Succedaneum?

Caput succedaneum is a term for the enlargement of a newborn’s scalp, which shows as a lump or mound on their head immediately after birth.

This is typically a harmless condition caused by the pressure placed on the infant’s skull during birth. It doesn’t suggest any injury to the brain or the cranium bones.

However, Caput Succedaneum can cause additional problems, such as jaundice. Don’t confuse this with cephalohematoma, which refers to hemorrhage under the head. Similar circumstances cause both of these conditions.

What is the Difference Between Caput Succedaneum and Cephalohematoma?

Both cephalohematoma and caput succedaneum feature odd lumps or swelling on the infant’s head. The fundamental distinction is that cephalohematoma refers to lumps formed by bleeding under the head, whereas caput succedaneum refers to lumps created by scalp enlargement because of pressure.

While neither cephalohematoma nor caput succedaneum are life-threatening in the great majority of instances, they can cause secondary issues such as jaundice and infections if not treated adequately.

Trying to drain extra fluid from a baby’s scalp, for example, might result in infection, which is why it’s best to let the problem go away on its own and work with a doctor.

What Causes Caput Succedaneum?

Body fluid builds up between the baby’s scalp and the protective membrane that surrounds their skull, causing caput succedaneum. The periosteum is the name for this barrier.

Two common causes of caput succedaneum include:

  • Labor: Your child is quite vulnerable. It doesn’t take much to cause bruising on them. When a doctor or the birth canal presses or pushes on the baby’s head, it develops caput succedaneum. During labor, this is the most typical occurrence. Babies’ bodies go through an immense amount of stress during delivery. The cervix and vaginal opening crush your baby even when expanded for birth. Once they’re born, this might cause swelling. Swelling can be exacerbated by labor and delivery that takes a lot of time or necessitates the use of forceps or a vacuum suction device.
  • Too little amniotic fluid: If the amniotic sac ruptures early in the birth, your baby’s scalp is more likely to enlarge. Similarly, if the infant is in an amniotic sac with insufficient fluid, their mom’s pelvic bones might injure them while still in the uterus. This can result in caput succedaneum before the birth of your child.

When is Caput Succedaneum Present?

The most common sign of caput succedaneum is swelling beneath the scalp’s epidermis. The skin is delicate and puffy.

It’s possible that pressing on it will cause a dimple in the skin. The edema may be limited to one side or expand across the scalp’s center.

The consequences are generally most noticeable on the first region of the skull to pass through the birth canal. There may be some discoloration or bruises, but not to the extent that cephalohematoma causes.

Because of the strain on the head bones, you may discover that your baby’s head is somewhat peaked after the swelling goes down. This is referred to as molding. This should pass with time. The bones in your baby’s skull aren’t joined, so they may move about a lot without causing injury.

All that is required for a diagnosis is a physical examination of the newborn child.

Is Caput Succedaneum a Serious Birth Injury?

Caput is rarely a significant injury, and the edema normally does not remain long. It disappears on its own within one month without intervention. However, it  is often a sign that the infant had a challenging and stressful delivery.

They may have had other more significant internal damage as a result.

What Is the Treatment for Caput Succedaneum?

A caput succedaneum usually does not require treatment and will go away on its own. If there are bruises, however, higher bilirubin levels and jaundice may result.

Jaundice is normally not a major concern, and in minor cases, it often goes away on its own. Phototherapy, blood transfusions, or treating any deeper causes may be required in some cases of jaundice.

If more severe cases of jaundice go misdiagnosed or are treated incorrectly, they can lead to kernicterus, a deadly and irreversible form of brain damage.

Kernicterus can cause cerebral palsy, hearing loss, and other permanent issues in babies.

How Long Does Caput Succedaneum Last?

Caput succedaneum normally takes a month to completely fade.

A cephalohematoma, on the other hand, will most likely endure weeks rather than months.

Some uncommon occurrences of cephalohematoma might continue for more than three months, necessitating further therapy. The issue is that the infant has a bulge on their scalp that is packed with collected blood. If the bleeding continues, the only option is to drain the blood from the child’s skull.

One major risk that accompanies this option is infection of the area.

What Are the Potential Complications of Caput Succedaneum?

Caput succedaneum, in the great majority of instances, fades away on its own without causing any extra issues or long-term consequences. However, there are consequences that may be serious in rare circumstances, which is why you should keep a watch on it. Bruising of the skin around the enlarged region, as well as necrosis, are among the consequences. Scarring and baldness are possible side effects, as well as systemic infection in rare circumstances.

Blood bilirubin levels may rise as a result of the bruise. The root cause of infant jaundice, a frequent illness, is high bilirubin levels. This suggests that caput succedaneum has the potential to cause or worsen newborn jaundice.

Infant jaundice is not a life-threatening illness when carefully handled and treated. Some instances can progress and ultimately lead to kernicterus, a highly dangerous and even life-threatening illness if not checked and treated. Surplus bilirubin in the bloodstream begins to enter and harm the brain, resulting in significant and irreversible brain damage.

What Is the Outlook on Caput Succedaneum?

Caput succedaneum is not a severe problem, despite the fact that it can lead to complications such as jaundice. The true importance of caput succedaneum is that it is frequently one of the earliest and most obvious signs that the infant had an especially difficult and traumatic birth. A caput succedaneum is a condition in which a baby’s head was subjected to severe external pressure during birth.

This might indicate that the infant experienced a more significant brain damage as a result of the tough delivery’s oxygen deprivation.

As a result, medical practitioners treating a newborn with caput succedaneum should pay close attention to the signs and indications of infant brain damage.

Do I Need a Birth Injury Attorney for Caput Succedaneum?

Birth injury lawyers are a subcategory of personal injury lawyers that assist in the pursuit of legal justice for infants who have suffered injuries that may have been avoided. Many birth injuries are serious, and children can be physically or psychologically impaired for the rest of their lives.

In many circumstances, long-term therapy may be required to control symptoms.

A Houston birth injury lawyer can seek compensation on behalf of a family to pay the expense of lifetime therapy. If a newborn is harmed, lawyers can hold negligent health care providers liable.

How Can a Birth Injury Lawyer Help?

A birth injury attorney can help parents who’s child suffered from Caput Succedaneum by:

  • Building a strong case against all parties responsible for your child’s injuries
  • Filing the case on your behalf in the appropriate courts
  • Collecting evidence to support the case, including testimonies from witnesses and medical records
  • Helping victimized families receive the compensation they deserve

Experienced Houston Caput Succedaneum Lawyers

In all areas of medicine, we expect that our doctors and medical professionals make the best choices for each situation.

The sad truth, however, is that doctors make mistakes just like any other worker. An important factor with medical mistakes is that these mistakes often result in years, sometimes decades of medical treatment. Even small errors sometimes result in tens of thousands in medical bills that the average family struggles to pay.

If your child suffered a birth injury and you seek compensation, we’re here for you. At Reich and Binstock, our Houston birth injury lawyers have helped countless families litigate their cases.

To schedule a free and confidential consultation about your case, call today at 713-622-7271. You can also fill out our online intake form.

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