Subgaleal Hemorrhage Birth Injuries
Birth injuries are defined as any preventable injuries suffered by newborns within the womb, during labor, or shortly after delivery. Neonatal subgaleal hemorrhages are major birth injuries, potentially resulting in serious or life-threatening consequences.
Here at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., our dedicated attorneys have decades of experience representing families affected by medical malpractice-related birth injuries. We understand how devastating these injuries can be. If your child sustained a subgaleal hemorrhage or other birth injury due to hospital negligence or medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Our team is here to ensure you receive the financial recovery you are owed.
Some significant recoveries we have obtained for families include:
- $8.9 million for a newborn who sustained permanent brain damage due to the Philadelphia obstetricians’ failure to recognize and respond to abnormal fetal heart rate tracings
- $4.5 million for a delayed Caesarean section in which a mother’s uterus ruptured and her infant suffered permanent neurological injuries
- $5 million to be placed in a trust to provide for the future care of a 10-week-old infant after emergency room doctors failed to diagnose his meningitis
To learn more about subgaleal hemorrhage and whether you could be eligible to receive compensation for your Pennsylvania birth injury case, call the compassionate team of Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. or fill out this form for your free consultation.
What Can Cause a Neonatal Subgaleal Hemorrhage?
Neonatal subgaleal hemorrhage, or hematoma, is a serious condition that affects approximately 1.5 babies in every 10,000 births. It is described as the accumulation of blood between the exterior of an infant’s skull and the interior of the galea aponeurosis, a membrane located just underneath the skin of the scalp. This type of bleeding occurs as a result of certain kinds of cranial trauma. It may drain substantial amounts of blood from developing newborns’ bodies, putting them at serious risk for brain damage, seizure, or fatality.
According to data published by the National Institutes of Health, more than 22 percent of all infants who develop subgaleal hematoma die as a result. Subgaleal hemorrhage often results from trauma caused by pulling or compressing an infant’s skull through the birth canal during labor. Some of the most common risk factors associated with this kind of trauma include:
- Primiparity, the medical term for a first-time pregnancy
- The use of vacuum extractors or forceps during delivery
- Macrosomia, or larger-than-average fetal size, which is more common among male babies and those of African descent
- Cephalopelvic disproportion, a condition describing a mismatch between the size of a mother’s pelvis and a baby’s head
- Premature births
- Prolonged second-stage labor
Treatment for Subgaleal Hemorrhage
Subgaleal hemorrhage can cause swelling and blood loss, which can lead to serious complications. Therefore, treatment is largely aimed at reducing swelling and resolving the symptoms that caused blood loss. After a newborn is delivered with vacuum extractors or forceps, delivery teams should plan to observe them closely for a minimum of eight hours, even if no obvious hematoma symptoms are present. Doctors, nurses, or midwives who fail to monitor infants in this manner may cause preventable injuries.
When newborns are diagnosed with subgaleal hematoma, their symptoms should be treated immediately to mitigate damage and prevent additional harm. Specific treatment methods for subgaleal hemorrhage often include:
- Hourly head examinations and assessments of newborn vital signs
- Blood transfusions to restore the infant’s blood and oxygen levels
- Blood volume resuscitation from packed red blood cells, saline, or plasma
- Frequent assessment of bilirubin levels, which can indicate blood cell breakdown when they are abnormal
- Additional testing to ensure infants are not suffering from other bleeding disorders
Should I Hire a Lawyer?
It can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between a birth injury caused by natural complications and one caused by preventable errors from practitioner negligence. If you suspect that your child suffered subgaleal hemorrhage as a result of any of the following, it’s a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- Delay or denial of Caesarean section procedures
- Surgical or medication errors
- Insufficient neonatal monitoring
- Inadequate blood restoration from transfusions or volume resuscitation
Pursuing Compensation for a Birth Injury
Birth injuries, especially those caused by medical malpractice, are often shocking and traumatic for expecting families. With the help of a medical malpractice attorney, these families have the opportunity to pursue justice and compensation. The most common types of compensation awarded in successful birth injury cases include:
- Past and present medical expenses
- Anticipated future medical expenses, including lifetime care for your child
- Rehabilitation and accessibility costs
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
- Losses in quality of life
How Our Firm Can Help Your Family
If your newborn suffered severe or fatal injuries related to subgaleal hemorrhage as a result of possible medical malpractice, the personal injury lawyers of Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. are here to help you through this difficult time. Our compassionate team will use our considerable resources and experience to:
- Explain the options available to you in your birth injury malpractice claim, including filing a lawsuit to recover compensation for the damages you and your child suffered
- Identify and collect solid evidence of medical malpractice or hospital negligence
- Communicate with medical staff, insurance providers, and defense attorneys on your behalf
- Maximize your compensation award by negotiating aggressively on your behalf
- Fight for maximum compensation by taking your case to trial
We offer free initial consultations, no matter how complicated our clients’ underlying birth injury malpractice cases may be, so there’s absolutely no risk to you in contacting us now. Call us or fill out our online request form for your confidential, no-obligation case review.