What is a Cephalohematoma?
A cephalohematoma is a birth injury that involves an injury to the head, generally after the use of a birth-assisting tool such a forceps or vacuum extractor. This form of birth injury only accounts for a small percentage of live births and is generally a very minor birth injury. Cephalohematoma is a pooling of blood under the skin between the skull and the lower layers of skin from broken blood vessels. This birth injury does not however pose any risk to the brain cells and is generally thought of as being fairly safe but in some rare cases, cephalohematoma leads to other complications and future birth injuries. If you believe that your child is suffering from a birth injury known as cephalohematoma look out for the following symptoms.
Symptoms of a Cephalohematoma?
The most noticeable symptom of cephalohematoma birth injury is an unusual, soft bump on the back of your babies skull that will gradually grow harder as the blood in the cephalohematoma begins to calcify. Over the next few days it will begin to heal from the center of the cephalohematoma bump. Besides this physical symptom your baby will be dealing with some internal symptoms from their birth injury as well.
- Possible anemia or low red blood cell count
- jaundice or yellowing of the eyes
- and an increased risk of infection
With these internal symptoms brewing under the surface there is chance of an additional birth injury occurring in your baby that you should keep an eye out for in the next few days. Consult with your doctor as your baby recovers from their cephalohematoma birth injury to make sure that they are recovering properly and risk of infection is minimized.
How to Diagnosis a Cephalohematoma?
When diagnosing a cephalohematoma birth injury your doctor will do a full exam of your baby and will keep careful watch over their healing process to make sure that the bulge begins to heal properly. Your doctor may want to perform various tests to make sure that the cephalohematoma will not pose a risk of infection and to make sure that it was properly diagnosed. These tests may include:
- CT Scan
Risk Factor of a Cephalohematoma?
If you are concerned that your baby may developed a cephalohematoma birth injury there are a number of risk factors to look out for in your birth process that may lead to one. If your baby is to large for the birth canal a cephalohematoma may occur as the babies head hits the pelvic walls. An exceptionally long birth may also contribute to a cephalohematoma as there is an increased need to use birth assisting tools that may rupture blood vessels in the head.
Potential Complications from a Cephalohematoma?
Cephalohematoma will generally heal with few complications but if the healing process for the bulge takes longer than three months to heal your doctor may chose to release the pressure from the cephalohematoma which could lead to infection, anemia, and jaundice. Complications are however very rare and most likely your baby will fine.