Cephalohematoma is the medical name for a condition where blood pools under a baby’s scalp. Usually, this appears as a soft bulge on the baby’s head. Technically, a cephalohematoma could be described as a bruise, but damage to the capillaries and blood vessels in the head can cause additional issues, and serious pooling of blood could lead to other medical complications.
If your baby suffered bruising or pooling of blood on the outside of their head, it might be a sign of other internal injuries or unnecessary complications and mistakes that your doctor caused during the delivery. Talk to a lawyer about what this means for your child and whether you might be entitled to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s Maryland attorneys for cephalohematoma from childbirth complications for a free legal consultation today at (410) 694-7291 to learn more about your potential claim.
Dangers of Cephalohematoma in Newborns
Usually, a cephalohematoma is not particularly dangerous. This injury typically involves the pooling of blood on the baby’s head between the scalp and the skull, which means that the blood does not leave the body and it does not enter the brain cavity where it would cause more severe problems. If your child has internal bleeding in their brain, the injuries are far more severe than a cephalohematoma and require immediate medical attention.
Cephalohematomas usually heal within a few weeks as the blood hardens and then dissipates back into the body. In some cases, the scalp might break open, which could lead to blood loss and additional complications. Also, serious damages to the blood vessels and capillaries in the skull might leave the child with more permanent damage.
The more important concern with a child who suffers a cephalohematoma during childbirth is that there might be other injuries you cannot notice as easily. Brain injuries and internal bleeding might be harder to diagnose than external bruising, and the effects of these injuries can grow more severe if left untreated. Babies usually suffer hematomas because of a blunt force impact or other bumps to the head. External bruising might not be serious enough to support a lawsuit, but if the baby has other underlying injuries such as traumatic brain injury, you might be entitled to compensation for those more serious injuries.
If your baby suffered more traumatic injuries or brain damage because of a blow to the head, you could be looking at years of ongoing medical care, physical therapy, and other care to deal with the effects of the injury. It is important to have your baby’s condition assessed and to look for any additional signs of trauma if you discover your newborn has a cephalohematoma.
Lawsuits for Cephalohematoma and Bruising Injuries from Childbirth
If your child suffered a bruise on their scalp, it might have occurred because of your doctor’s negligence. Doctors should be held to a high “standard of care” based on how the procedure is supposed to be performed and what other similarly trained doctors would do in the same situation. If your doctor committed errors or made dangerous choices in the delivery room, your baby might have suffered a hematoma or other injuries because of those choices, justifying a medical malpractice lawsuit.
To prove that your doctor’s care was indeed negligent and to win a lawsuit for medical malpractice involving a cephalohematoma, you must first prove that the injury your child suffered was caused by the doctor’s failure to meet the standard of care. If your doctor committed a negligent error that led to the cephalohematoma, you are halfway toward proving your injury case. If under the specific circumstances of your case, the bruising is instead considered a natural complication of the delivery that might occur even without negligence, you might be unable to sue.
Additionally, you must prove that the doctor’s negligence actually caused an injury the court can compensate you and your family for. In many cephalohematoma cases, there is no significant injury, and your baby might not suffer any underlying harm that the court can compensate you for. However, if the cephalohematoma led to additional medical bills, time off work, and pain and suffering, you might be entitled to damages.
Additionally, if your child suffered more serious bruising to the skull, cracks or depressions in the skull, skull bulges, or brain trauma, you might be entitled to substantial financial compensation for those injuries and the effects they have on your child and your family.
Suing Your Doctor and Hospital for Cephalohematomas and Head Injuries During Delivery
If your doctor caused your child’s injuries through negligent care, you might be entitled to sue the doctor directly for their fault. Often, doctors work in private practices that are set up in such a way that you can sue the individual doctor but not the hospital or the doctor’s practice. However, if the doctor is an employee of the hospital, you might be able to join the hospital in the lawsuit and seek damages from the hospital to pay for their employee’s mistakes. Additionally, you might be able to sue the hospital if other members of the medical team, such as nurses, shared responsibility for your baby’s injuries.
Talk to a lawyer for help determining whom to sue in a medical malpractice lawsuit for cephalohematomas and head injuries caused by medical negligence during childbirth.
Call for a Free Legal Consultation with Our Maryland Lawyers for Cephalohematoma Injuries During Childbirth
If your child suffered a cephalohematoma and other more serious injuries because of an error or mistake that your doctor committed during the delivery, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras today. Our Maryland lawyers for cephalohematoma from childbirth complications might be able to help you file your lawsuit and seek the compensation you deserve. For your free legal consultation, call us at (410) 694-7291.