Although neonatal hematoma – bruising and swelling in the brain – can occur as a natural part of the birth process, many injuries of this type are caused by the negligent or inappropriate use of medical interventions such as vacuum extraction and delivery by forceps. During birth, the baby’s head undergoes natural compression in the birth canal. This leads to some swelling and bruising of the infant brain, but this generally resolves itself within days. However, complications, some potentially severe, can occur during birth, placing the baby or mother, or both, at risk. In these situations, physicians turn to forceps and vacuum extractors to resolve the problems. But inappropriate use of these implements can cause skull or head trauma resulting in subgaleal and subdural hematomas.At The Law Office of Robert H. Kleinschmidt, P.C., in Scottsdale, our lawyer works hard to help hold negligent medical professionals accountable and to help you recover the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled.
Symptoms Of Neonatal Hematoma
Symptoms of hematoma may vary, but the most commonly observed include seizures, changes in consciousness, and swelling of the skull. Depending on the type of hematoma suffered, other symptoms may be observed:
- Retinal hemorrhage
- Altered respiration
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- Pallid skin
- A “shocked” appearance
Subgaleal hematomas are caused by ruptures in the emissary veins that connect the dural sinuses and the scalp veins. These ruptures allow blood to collect in the spaces between the scalp and durum. Up to 90% of occurrences of this relatively rare hematoma are caused by vacuum extraction during birth, particularly if the procedure is repeated multiple times.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in partnership with Health Canada, has issued a warning about the risk of subgaleal hematoma during forceps and vacuum-assisted deliveries, pointing out that the incidence of hematoma is most often associated with the inappropriate placement and use of these devices.
Subdural hematomas are caused by head trauma, causing bleeding between the dura matter, tissue that adheres to the skull, and the arachnoid matter, a membrane that envelops the brain. Although subdural hematomas have many causes, pressure from forceps or vacuum extractors can rupture these tissues, causing bleeding that can be fatal unless the problem is quickly identified.
Infant hematomas caused by the improper or negligent use of forceps and vacuum extractors can lead to serious complications and even death. If your child has suffered a subdural or subgaleal hematoma as a result of the inappropriate use of these implements or a failure to provide the proper level of care and monitoring, you may have grounds to claim medical malpractice.
Contact Our Arizona Law Offices For Help With Birth Injury Claims
For information and guidance on how to proceed, consult an attorney experienced in neonatal hematoma cases and medical malpractice. Attorney Robert H. Kleinschmidt has over 25 years of experience litigating complex birth injury cases. Our telephone number is 480-951-3949 or you may contact us online. Please call us now to schedule a free consultation. We provide legal help to people throughout the greater Phoenix area.