While most would agree that childbirth is a miracle, it is also extremely dangerous. Birth injuries are not unheard of and might place your baby’s health at risk.
Caput succedaneum is a relatively minor birth injury that often presents as swelling on the baby’s scalp shortly after birth. While this condition is itself not very alarming, it is sometimes connected to other injuries or conditions that are far more serious. After your baby is born with caput succedaneum, you should take your child to other doctors for thorough medical evaluations. Other complications like jaundice, scarring, or even cerebral palsy might arise in your baby’s case. If your child is injured and in need of treatment, you can file a lawsuit for the damages from the birth injuries.
After your baby is born with caput succedaneum, our Baltimore birth injury attorneys can help you hold negligent doctors liable. For a free assessment of your case, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.
What Happens After a Baby is Born with Caput Succedaneum in Maryland?
Caput succedaneum is often noticed shortly after birth, although cases have been found as early as 31 weeks into a pregnancy via ultrasound. The condition is a benign edema on an infant’s scalp and appears as an area of swelling. The condition is often caused by trauma during birth, such as strain to the infant’s head during delivery.
Caput succedaneum is often a minor medical issue, and many infants recover on their own with little medical intervention within a few days. However, it is possible that caput succedaneum might lead to or be indicative of other more serious medical conditions. If your baby is born with caput succedaneum, you should have your baby extensively evaluated by a doctor. Like many birth injuries, the sooner complications are identified and treated, the better for your baby.
Caput succedaneum is often caused by a complication during difficult deliveries. One of the most common causes is when doctors assist delivery with forceps or vacuum extraction. Our Maryland personal injury attorney can help you pursue legal action against negligent doctors.
Monitoring Your Baby’s Medical Condition After Being Born with Caput Succedaneum in Maryland
After your baby is born with caput succedaneum, you should have a doctor monitor your baby’s medical condition for a while. While this condition often resolves in a couple of days, there could be other complications and conditions that are more serious. If your baby experiences other complications related to caput succedaneum, our Ocean City personal injury attorneys can help you explore legal options.
When a baby is born with caput succedaneum, the bruising and swelling of the scalp can lead to a rise in bilirubin levels in the blood. Excessive bilirubin levels are a significant cause of jaundice in newborns. Children who are already born with jaundice are at risk of the condition worsening because of caput succedaneum.
Jaundice is a common infant condition that is often not considered serious as long as it is properly monitored. Unmonitored or untreated jaundice might lead to a condition called kernicterus, a form of brain damage in infants. Kernicterus may lead to hearing loss or serious seizures as your baby gets older.
Babies born with caput succedaneum might also be left with physical scars on their heads. Some babies end up with halo scalp ring alopecia and cannot grow hair on certain areas of their heads. In particularly serious cases, caput succedaneum can lead to cerebral palsy and leave babies with life-long medical conditions and disabilities.
Assessing Damages Related to Caput Succedaneum in Babies in Maryland
It is also important to have your baby examined and treated after being born with caput succedaneum because we need to assess the potential damages in your case. Damages refer to the injuries and losses you and your child experience because of your doctor’s negligence. Birth injuries often lead to long-term medical conditions that require expensive treatment, and the doctor responsible for your child’s injuries should be made to pay.
Not only can you claim damages for the money you have spent on medical treatment for your baby, but you can claim expected future medical expenses. This is especially important in cases where babies are diagnosed with life-long conditions or disabilities.
In many cases, babies born with injuries do not lead the full and independent lives their parents hoped for. This often leads to severe emotional trauma and suffering for parents of injured children. You can claim this pain and suffering as part of your damages.
When it comes to caput succedaneum cases, medical expenses make up a significant portion of the damages. These expenses encompass immediate costs like hospital bills, surgeries, and medication. For example, if a child needs surgery, the expense of the operation, anesthesiology, and post-operative care would fit into this category. Additionally, long-term medical expenses are also included, such as ongoing physical therapy, occupational therapy, or any potential future surgeries the child might need as a result of their condition.
Compensation for lost wages is an important aspect of damages. It is not too early to think about a newborn’s potential earning capacity, as the law considers the long-term implications of their injuries. In case caput succedaneum leads to permanent disability that affects the child’s ability to work as an adult, compensation for lost wages may be granted. For instance, if the injury causes significant physical impairment that hinders them from pursuing certain careers, the expected loss of income from those jobs would be computed and included in the damages.
If the child’s birth injuries result in the mother’s inability to return to work, she can also claim lost wages. Additionally, if the mother needs to take time off or request special accommodations from her employer to care for her child’s needs, claiming lost wages may be necessary.
Children with caput succedaneum often need specialized care. Families typically incur several expenses when caring for a child with special needs, such as hiring caregivers, modifying their home to suit the child’s requirements, and providing special education services. In case the child has lost hand function due to an injury, expenses such as installing handrails or customizing the vehicle for one-handed driving could be included in the damages. Additionally, expenses related to special education or therapy services to assist the child in adapting to their disability can also be recovered.
When a child and family experience the fallout of developing caput succedaneum, they often also endure physical pain and emotional distress. These can include physical discomfort, anxiety, depression, and reduced enjoyment of life. This is known as pain and suffering, or non-economic damages, and is taken into account when determining compensation. For example, if the child or mother experiences chronic pain due to the condition or develops anxiety related to their physical limitations, these factors could impact the amount awarded for non-economic damages.
Filing a Lawsuit for Birth Injuries After Your Baby is Born with Caput Succedaneum in Maryland
Caput succedaneum is itself not a terribly serious condition. However, it is an early warning sign that your baby experienced some sort of trauma during birth. Birth injuries can be incredibly serious and sometimes lead to life-long complications. In severe cases, babies who experience birth injuries must rely on their parents for life-long care. Our Towson personal injury attorneys can help you sue the doctors responsible for your child’s birth injuries and get you financial compensation to help pay for your child’s needs.
Lawsuits for birth injuries often fall under the umbrella of medical malpractice law. In Maryland, a medical malpractice lawsuit is a type of personal injury case, but there are more stringent requirements due to the scientific and medical aspects of the lawsuit.
First, you must file a certificate from a qualified expert after you file your lawsuit. According to Md. Code Courts and Judicial Proceedings § 3-2A-06D(2)(b), plaintiffs must file a certificate from a qualified medical expert explaining that the defendant’s actions fell below the standard of care and caused the birth injuries.
It is also important to have your baby checked out by numerous doctors in preparation for a lawsuit. In medical malpractice cases, verdicts are often significantly based on what medical experts have to say. Having more than one doctor back up your claims in court will help you get the compensation you need to support your child.
Determining Who Is Responsible for Your Baby Being Born with Caput Succedaneum in Maryland
Determining liability in a caput succedaneum injury case can be a complicated process. Typically, the physician who delivered the baby will be held accountable if their negligence caused any resulting injuries. However, other healthcare professionals are involved in the delivery process, and they, too, could be responsible for any injuries sustained by the infant. If a nurse failed to monitor the mother and baby adequately, did not communicate their concerns to the doctor, or made other errors, they can also be held liable.
Additionally, other medical professionals involved in the care of the mother and baby could be held responsible for any negligent actions that contributed to the injury. For example, an anesthesiologist who made errors in administering medication, or a specialist who misinterpreted an ultrasound, might also share the blame for your child’s condition. The hospital where your baby was delivered could have contributed to your child’s resulting injuries. If the hospital’s policies had a hand in causing the injuries, the hospital could be held responsible for it.
Proving Injuries from Caput Succedaneum in Maryland
In order to effectively pursue a lawsuit regarding a caput succedaneum injury in Maryland, it is necessary to provide evidence establishing four essential elements. The first of these is proving that the healthcare provider was responsible for providing care to both the mother and the child. This duty is inherent in cases involving childbirth due to the nature of the relationship between the healthcare provider and patient, so it is typically not an issue establishing this factor.
It must then be demonstrated that your healthcare provider failed in their duty of care. Typically, such a failure involves an act or omission that deviates from the accepted standard of care in the medical community. Examples could include excessive force during delivery, failure to order a required cesarean section, or inappropriate response to complications, all of which may be considered a breach of duty. Essentially, it is the act that led your child to develop caput succedaneum.
To win your case, though, it is necessary to establish a direct causal relationship between the breach and the development of caput succedaneum. This is commonly referred to as the “causation” aspect, which usually requires expert testimony from a qualified medical professional with specialized knowledge of caput succedaneum. Finally, it is essential to prove that the injury caused measurable damages, which typically include physical, emotional, or financial harm.
Call Our Maryland Birth Injury Attorneys for Assistance with Your Case
If your child was born with caput succedaneum, our Silver Spring personal injury attorneys can help you sue the doctors responsible. For a free case evaluation, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.