Cephalohematoma (antenatal period)

A hemorrhage of blood between the skull of a newborn baby and the periosteum secondary to the rupture of blood vessels crossing the periosteum is called cephalohematoma.

What Causes Cephalohematoma?

A difficult or prolonged labor, particularly during the second stage, can result in cephalohematoma. During the second stage of labor, the cervix is fully dilated. When the second stage is prolonged, the stress placed on the fetus can lead to trauma.

Cephalohematoma has also been linked to the use of a vacuum device. A vacuum is used in some circumstances to speed up labor that has been prolonged.

Most cephalohematomas resolve in several weeks, but the bone at the area of the lesion can continue to be irregular for several months. In some cases, the inner table and new bony layer stay widened for years. When this happens, the space where the hematoma was can become occupied with normal bone, or include multiple cysts.

What are the Symptoms of Cephalohematoma?

Blood loss and swelling are related to this injury and can create serious problems for the infant, such as anemia, hypotension and jaundice. Infection can also result from this condition, possibly leading to meningitis.

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