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Caput Succedaneum

Caput succedaneum is a condition that results in swelling of your baby’s scalp, which may be noticeable during pregnancy or immediately after birth. It is often the result of negligence on the part of medical providers, and can result in serious complications that jeopardize your child’s health.    

At Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C., we represent parents of infants born with caput succedaneum. Our birth injury attorneys act as a strong legal advocate to help hold responsible parties accountable, providing the experience representation you need to get compensation for the injuries your infant suffers.        

What Is Caput Succedaneum?

Prior to delivery, membranes in the mother’s womb gently support and hold the baby’s head in place, while the amniotic fluid provides a cushion. The National Institute of Health’s website, MedlinePlus.gov, advises that caput succedaneum can occur when these membranes are broken and the amount of fluid decreases, causing the infant’s head to press on the uterus or the walls of the birth canal. As a result, the baby’s head often swells or becomes bruised, either on both sides or at the spot which presented first.   

What Causes Caput Succedaneum?

Caput succedaneum can occur in the final weeks of pregnancy, or as a result of the following:

  • In long, hard labors, which require mothers to spend extended time spent pushing;
  • During difficult deliveries, where the doctor uses forceps or vacuum extraction methods to assist;
  • In breech births, where pressure is used to move the infant into position.  

While the condition may clear up on its own within a few days, there are potentially serious side effects that can result. Healthline reports that infants with caput succedaneum are at risk for developing jaundice, which causes the skin to yellow due to excess bilirubin in the blood. Left untreated, jaundice can result in potentially severe and disabling conditions, including brain injury, deafness, and cerebral palsy.  

The Role of Negligence in Birth Injuries   

Proving negligence in birth injury cases generally involves showing that a doctor or hospital failed to provide the standard of care a patient should reasonably expect to receive. Your doctor may be liable for the injuries your infant suffered if any of the following occurred:

  • Failure to detect and treat membrane rupture during pregnancy;
  • Failure to intervene in an abnormally long or hard delivery;
  • Excess force in using extractions methods;
  • Failure to diagnose and treat infant jaundice resulting from caput succedaneum.

In any of the above situations, you may be entitled to damages through a medical malpractice claim. Compensation you may be able to receive includes lost wages, pain and suffering, and costs associated with the medical care and treatment your child will need, both now and in the years to come.

Contact Our Birth Injury Attorney Today

If you suspect your child suffered injuries as the result of your doctor’s negligence, contact Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. today. Our birth injury attorneys provide the compassionate, professional legal service you deserve to get the compensation your child needs to recover.  

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