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What Is Caput Succedaneum?

Submitted by jrlaw on Nov 2nd, 2009

Caput Succedaneum is amongst the most commonly ignored birth injuries. Often called Caput, it is essentially hemorrhaging of the scalp among newborns, usually found in headfirst delivery (i.e. vertex birth).

You should be particularly aware of Caput Succedaneum since it is often wrongly described as a “pregnancy-related complication.” Caput is a critical form of scalp bruising that can be caused by medical negligence. The inability to identify Caput early can lead to serious complications such as jaundice that often prove life threatening for newborns.

How does medical negligence make Caput Succedaneum fatal?

Please understand that Caput Succedaneum is usually caused by a demanding labor wherein the vaginal walls aren't flexible enough for an easy delivery. In such cases, it might be unavoidable. It is commonly associated with prolonged deliveries or those that need vaginal extraction. However, it becomes a serious birth injury only if its extent is not established, i.e. the failure to diagnose and treat Caput Succedaneum early makes it a critical medical condition.

Parents should insist that the healthcare providers conduct systematic prenatal and after-birth examination to ensure that this birth injury is avoided. Checking for early indications include head-related, basic examination for swelling or bleeding that needs no special medical equipment. An abnormally puffed-up appearance of the scalp is its most common and easy-to-detect symptom.

Excessive bleeding often causes the baby’s head to develop an angled appearance — something that is easily detectable if the infant is thoroughly examined during a detailed physical examination. Infant medical testing such as prenatal ultrasound can help identify caput before it becomes fatal. Undiagnosed Caput can lead to severe internal hemorrhaging inside the scalp, wherein sustained bleeding creates excessive pressure on the developing brain tissue. This is often the underlying cause of hard-to-detect brain damage cases among newborns.

Consider Caput Succedaneum Litigation

If you feel that negligence of the attending medical staff led to your infant suffering from a critical form of caput succedaneum, then don’t hesitate to contact our office. We can help you in receiving a birth injury claim in such cases. Complete our form today.