What is Cephalohematoma - Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Have you seen a baby born with excessive bleeding but wonder what this condition is and what is the possible cause of the condition?  When hemorrhage occurs in a baby between the perisosteum and the skull, this condition is always the major suspect of cephalohematoma as it is the main factor that can lead to such occurrence. Hemorrhage is an excessive loss of blood from ruptured blood vessel. It can either be externally or internally and usually difficult to control. The blood vessels through which the bleeding originates is always the one that passes across the periosteum which is a membrane covering the external surface of bones.

  • Cephalohematoma Definition
  • Cephalohematoma Symptoms
  • Cephalohematoma Causes
  • Cephalohematoma Treatment

Cephalohematoma Definition

Cephalohematoma can be defined as medical condition in which there is hemorrhage in newborn babies due to leakage of blood vessels between the skull and periosteum. The reason for the hemorrhage is mostly as a result of ruptured blood vessels that are passing across periosteum. It may also be linked to subperiosteal inflammation.

What is Cephalohematoma - Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Cephalohematoma Symptoms

Symptoms of cephalohematoma are numerous and can easily be identified in a baby. If this case is so severe, the symptom can show in form of jaundice or yellow tinge of newborn’s skin. Anemia is another major symptom of this condition coupled with decreased blood pressure. This condition is also an indication that newborn baby has fracture within the skull in most cases.

There is also increase in the risk of the baby getting serious infection as well as complications like Meningitis or even osteomyelitis. The swelling caused by this condition does not progress beyond the suture lines. The two major complications of this condition are hyperbilirubinemia and anemia.


Cephalohematoma Causes

What about the causes of this condition? There are several underlying conditions or factors known to cause such problem. Some of the main causes are:

  • Difficulty or prolonged second stage labor. This is the labor starting from when there is complete dilation to the time of actual baby delivery.
  • Use of instrument improperly for delivery can also result to this issue. Some instruments like forceps, or ventouse can cause serious head injury to newborn baby which in turn will cause this problem.
  • Lack of vitamin C is another risk factor that usually stimulate this condition, though not the real cause.
  • Birth trauma can also cause this condition
  • The head of baby bigger than the mother’s pelvic area
  • Head of baby banging on the pelvic area of the mother
  • First pregnancy

Cephalohematoma Treatment

Is there treatment for this condition? The answer to this is no, as there is no specific treatment option for the condition. In most cases, the patient is placed under observation. But, for the patient who has already developed jaundice as a result of cephalohematoma phototherapy is always recommended in some cases. Also, there is always need for blood transfusion when there is severe anemia as a result of this condition.

After managing the condition for some couple of months CT or MRI is always carries out to determine the nature of the bleeding in the skull. The blood drains back in to circulatory system after several months and the condition will completely disappear.
What is Cephalohematoma - Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment What is Cephalohematoma - Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment Reviewed by Simon Albert on February 28, 2017 Rating: 5
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