Expectant parents put a lot of faith in their obstetricians, midwives, and delivery teams. You should be able to trust that your providers will always do what is best for you and your baby, but unfortunately, problems sometimes occur in the delivery room. When a medical team is not attentive in their care of the mother and child, these problems can lead to serious birth injuries.
If you suspect your medical team failed to properly diagnose and manage your baby’s caput succedaneum, you might have legal grounds to file a medical malpractice claim. A Connecticut caput succedaneum lawyer can help you fight for justice.
Caput succedaneum, or “caput,” is a relatively common condition among newborns. The condition occurs when a baby develops an edema or swelling on their scalp from pressure on their head, leading to bruising directly under a baby’s scalp. A caput feels spongy and soft and can appear red or discolored.
Caput most frequently occurs during a prolonged or difficult vaginal birth, when a mother’s cervix or vagina tightly squeezes the baby’s head during delivery. Some babies are more at risk of developing caput succedaneum, particularly if they have a difficult birth that requires the use of forceps or a vacuum extraction. Caput is also more likely to occur when a mother experiences premature rupture of the membranes or has abnormally low amniotic fluid.
Caput is not usually a serious birth injury. The condition generally resolves on its own in most babies within a few days when the body reabsorbs the blood in the affected area. Unfortunately, some babies develop complications from the loss of blood. Doctors and hospital staff should always closely monitor a baby’s condition after delivery to ensure it does not develop into something more severe, such as jaundice, which could lead to a life-altering and possibly fatal form of brain damage known as kernicterus.
Kernicterus can affect a baby’s development and occurs when a baby’s body is not developed enough to break down bilirubin. Babies with kernicterus are at risk of developing the following serious health complications:
Doctors can treat jaundice to ensure it stops quickly before it develops into kernicterus. They need to regularly monitor a baby’s bilirubin levels and treat babies who show signs of jaundice with phototherapy or blood transfusions. Sometimes, specialists can also drain the fluid below the baby’s scalp to reduce the swelling.
Connecticut providers who fail to take the proper steps to diagnose and treat caput succedaneum can be held legally accountable for complications that arise. A lawyer can provide more insight on whether a particular case constitutes malpractice.
Birth injuries can be devastating for newborns and their families. A family of a child with untreated caput might need to provide intensive medical care, special needs schooling, and caregivers throughout their child’s life, which can result in significant financial burdens. Pursuing a legal claim against the negligent doctor or other healthcare worker who failed to treat your child could make a huge difference in how you are able to move forward.
The Connecticut caput succedaneum lawyers at Berkowitz Hanna are prepared to fight for the compensation your family needs. Contact us today to get started on your case. Your initial consultation is completely free.