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Cephalohematoma: causes, symptoms and diagnosis

Cephalohematoma is a condition that affects 1 to 2 percent of all babies during or after birth, so expectant mothers in Texas should know more about it. CH arises when an injury during labor or delivery damages some blood vessels and causes blood to pool between a baby's scalp and skull.

For example, the infant's head may hit against the mother's pelvis and cause the blood vessels to rupture. Birth-assisting devices like forceps and vacuums also heighten the risk for CH. A small birth canal, weak uterine contractions and the abnormal position of the baby can increase labor time and complicate delivery. This will also make the development of CH more likely.

A soft bulge on the back of the baby's head, usually unaccompanied by any cut or bruise, is a sign of CH. Over the weeks, the blood will first calcify, making the bulge hard, and then disappear, causing the bulge to go away. The center of the bulge may disappear first, making a sort of crater. Other symptoms are internal to the baby, such as anemia and jaundice.

A doctor could detect CH after a full-body physical but may request additional tests, such as an X-ray or CT scan. The doctor may also perform an ultrasound, if applicable. Both the doctor and the mother should monitor the symptoms for signs of non-CH-related problems.

CH is not a life-threatening condition although a doctor may drain the blood out in rare cases. It is during the delivery process that serious medical mistakes are liable to be made. When a child incurs birth injuries through the negligence of a doctor or nurse, the family might set up a case evaluation with a malpractice attorney to see if they have grounds for a claim. An attorney may be beneficial when the time comes to negotiate for a settlement.

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