Infant cephalohematoma is a medical condition that can occur in infants. Estimates are that this problem occurs with approximately one to two perfect of all live births, but the risk can go up in the event that any assistive tools were used during the birthing process, such as forceps. Most of the time, this does not develop into a problem and will heal without any complications at all. However, it is important for parents to understand the condition, including the symptoms that the baby may exhibit.
What Is It?
Infant cephalohematoma is a type of traumatic subperiosteal hematoma that happens under the skin on the infant’s skull. This type of injury does not present any type of risk to the baby’s actual brain cells, as the damage is occurring between the skull and the skin and not within the brain. It does cause pooling of the blood on these inner layers of the skin though, and this can lead to bruising and swelling.
The symptoms can actually be very difficult to spot, as it is generally internal. In addition, the infant will not likely have any behavioral symptoms that will let the medical professionals or parents realize there is a problem. Instead, it becomes important to look at things such as signs of infection, jaundice, or anemia. In addition, it is important to look at any bulges in the baby’s head that appear unnatural. Those who do find a bulge on the infant’s head should contact their doctor immediately. Even if it isn’t a problem, a doctor should examine the bump and the child as soon as possible. This helps to limit any potential risks and issues from developing.
What Are Risk Factors for the Condition?
As mentioned, this will usually happen during the time of birth. The use of forceps and other birthing equipment has the potential to cause infant cephalohematoma. However, there are a number of natural risk factors as well, some of which the patient will have no control over during the delivery process. For example, those who are going through their first delivery tend to be at a greater risk, as do those who are having an infant that is larger than the mother’s pelvic area. Patients who have a particularly difficult labor could find that their babies are at a greater risk as well.
What Complications Could Arise?
Even though the vast majority of the time there will not be any permanent damage and the infant will heal naturally, there is always the possibility of complications. If the child does have infant cephalohematoma, it is generally very easily treatable. However, the parents need to make sure their child is examined by a doctor. They may use various types of scans, such as an MRI or CT scans, as a way to determine the nature of the injury, or if there is an injury in the first place.
Most of the time, the infant will be able to heal on its own within three months. The doctors may prescribe various medications, treatments, therapy, and even surgeries in certain cases. In those instances where there is a significant amount of blood buildup, it could lower the baby’s red blood cell count, and this could necessitate a blood transfusion.
Parents should always monitor their newborns to make sure they are healthy. When it comes to monitoring for infant cephalohematoma, they should look for signs of jaundice and bulging on areas of the infant’s head. Speak to the doctor immediately whenever anything unknown is observed. Make sure the child gets the treatment that he or she needs.