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Caput succedaneum: its causes and symptoms

| Sep 15, 2018 | birth injuries

Caput succedaneum is a birth injury characterized by the swelling of a newborn baby’s scalp, usually in the form of a lump or bump. While the condition is harmless, goes away after several days and has no long-term effects, it may increase the risk for infant jaundice, so parents in Texas will want to know more about the condition.

Caput succedaneum is caused by prolonged pressure, either from the dilated cervix or vaginal walls, on the infant’s head during delivery. Long and difficult deliveries as well as deliveries that require the use of vacuum suction or forceps increases a newborn’s risk for developing the condition. The pelvic bones may put pressure on the baby if the amniotic sac has little fluid, or the sac’s membranes rupture early in labor. This means the swelling could develop before labor and be detected via ultrasound.

The skin under the baby’s scalp will be swollen and soft and may create a dimple if pressed. The swelling will be most prominent on the part of the skull that came down the birth canal first. The swelling could be accompanied by bruising and discoloration, which, in turn, put the baby at risk for developing jaundice, which can be serious if left untreated. All that’s required to diagnose caput succedaneum is a physical exam. No treatment is necessary.

When there are grounds for a birth injury case, namely a doctor’s negligence and the sustaining of serious injuries on the newborn’s part, victims can receive damages to cover their financial and other losses. This is where an attorney could come in. Malpractice lawyers can request inquiries with the local medical board and hire medical experts of their own to determine the extent of the birth injuries. Victims can leave the negotiations to their attorneys and have them prepare their cases for court if negotiations fail.