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Causes & Symptoms of Caput Succedaneum

The risks associated with pregnancy and delivery are subjects most expectant parents do not want to think about. the idea that their precious newborn could be injured during the birth process is a nightmare. Unfortunately, in some cases, medical complications or conditions develop that threaten the health of the newborn. Depending on the circumstances, these adverse conditions are a natural complication. In contrast, in others, they result from negligent conduct on the part of your doctor or another medical professional.

Caput succedaneum is commonly a naturally occurring medical condition that could also be caused by a medical mistake. A child’s head will appear malformed or resemble a cone shape. This condition is usually harmless and will heal in a few days. However, a doctor’s actions could worsen the condition, especially if symptoms of more serious complications are ignored or left untreated.

When a medical professional harms an infant through their negligence, they should be held responsible. the Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras are committed to holding doctors and other healthcare providers liable for the birth injuries they cause. If you believe your child is a victim of medical malpractice, call (410) 694-7291.

What is Caput Succedaneum?

Caput succedaneum, or caput, is a medical condition usually noticed at birth but could also appear on ultrasound around the 31st week of pregnancy. In most cases, caput does not result in any long-lasting negative complications. Unfortunately, there are exceptions. Infants diagnosed with the condition should be monitored for additional symptoms or signs of complications.

Newborns suffering from caput succedaneum will have a malformed head. the child’s scalp swells, giving the appearance of a cone-shaped head. This condition is most common when mothers have prolonged or complicated deliveries.

Generally, caput goes away without medical treatment. However,  there are situations where dangerous complications arise. Infants with caput should be monitored closely to ensure that the swelling around the skull disappears without causing further injuries.

Factors That Increase the Risk of Caput Succedaneum

In some cases, caput succedaneum is a natural and common consequence of natural birth. However, there are situations where the negligence of the attending doctor or another medical team member could cause or exacerbate the condition.

For example, if a doctor is too slow in performing a cesarean section, the resulting trauma could result or increase the negative impact of caput succedaneum. Another common form of medical malpractice occurs when a doctor improperly uses forceps or a vacuum extractor during a difficult delivery. Even if surgical tools are not utilized, a doctor could injure the newborn by manually assisting with the birth while applying excessive pulling or pressure on the baby’s head.

Any of these decisions or actions could increase the likelihood that your baby develops caput succedaneum. If so, you should talk to our Maryland malpractice attorneys to review your legal options.

Complications from Caput Succedaneum

Typically, caput succedaneum will heal in just a few days. However, there are cases where infants develop serious complications. For example, a common complication of caput succedaneum is jaundice. the bruising associated with caput could result in an increase in bilirubin.

An infant with an elevated level of bilirubin in its system is more susceptible to developing jaundice. With proper treatment, jaundice should go away without causing the baby any long-term medical issues. However, when not treated correctly, a child with jaundice could develop kernicterus. Kernicterus is a condition that causes damage to the brain. Long-term consequences of kernicterus could include hearing loss, vision problems, or athetoid cerebral palsy. In the most severe cases, jaundice could result in the death of the infant.

Doctors and other medical professionals should carefully monitor a baby with caput succedaneum. If your doctor’s actions prior, during, or after delivery resulted in your child experiencing negative medical complications, contact our Harford County medical practices lawyers immediately.

Steps Parents Should Take if Their Child Has Caput Succedaneum

If you believe that your child’s doctor is not providing adequate care or failing to monitor your baby close enough, you have every right to seek another physician. However, if you believe your infant suffered a birth injury because of the conduct or decisions of the attending doctor or another medical professional, you have the right to pursue a medical malpractice claim.

While medical malpractice cases are challenging, there are things you could do that will help our Maryland personal injury lawyers build a case. What occurred before, during, and after your child’s birth could be of critical importance. You should take careful notes and write down what your doctor said and did. Additionally, keep track of any medical treatments you and your child had to undergo. Be sure to include anything that seemed abnormal, such as delays in treatment, arguments, or apologies. This information could prove vital in understanding what occurred and holding the appropriate party accountable.

Immediately request all medical records pertaining to you and your child. Your request should include all available records, including notes, test results, reports, and treatments. Most importantly, consult with our knowledgeable Baltimore birth injury lawyers. You have legal rights and options – you need to understand them. By gathering the above information, you will provide the early roadmap necessary for building a case in your favor.

Experienced Maryland Birth Injury Attorneys Fighting for the Rights of Your Child

Caput succedaneum is often a minor inconvenience. However, if your doctor made an error during labor or delivery, they could have caused or exacerbated the condition. In other situations, failing to monitor a child suffering from caput succedaneum could result in adverse or potentially fatal complications. Our Maryland birth injury attorneys understand the complexities and challenges associated with a medical malpractice claim. If you believe your child’s medical condition is the result of your doctor’s negligence, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.