Why Does My Baby’s Head Look Malformed?
Hospital Malpractice Lawyer
When a baby is born with a peculiar head shape, parents may be understandably concerned. Malformation of a newborn’s head can happen due to a variety of factors, but mainly from traumatic pressure when in utero or during the delivery. Misshapen heads may have been caused by conditions like cephalohematoma, skull fractures, craniosynostosis, or caput succedaneum. In order words, the doctor, nurses, or medical facility may have committed a huge mistake during delivery, which led to a severe birth injury.
Q: Is my baby’s skull very soft and fragile?
A: Yes, in the first few years after being born, an infant’s skull is quite delicate and needs time to become fully formed. A baby’s skull has bone plates that overlap, connected by sutures. As new bone emergences from these suture lines, the baby’s head can grow symmetrically. These sutures close usually around two or three years old, and enables the skull to expand and permit space for a growing brain. Until these sutures close, the newborn’s skull must be handled carefully.
Q: So what causes the malformed head shape?
A: Due to the flexibility of the newborn’s head, too much pressure on the skull can lead to a malformed shape. This misshapen head may be referred to as deformational molding, which can arise when in utero, delivery, or early infancy. Certain pregnancy and delivery-related conditions can contribute to a misshapen head, including cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD), oligohydramnios, twins or multiple births, breech birth, and prolonged labor.
Q: Could it have been my doctor who made a mistake?
A: Doctors are required to pay strict attention to how mother and fetus are doing prior to, during, and after delivery. A doctor must run appropriate prenatal tests and provide a standard level of medical care during delivery. If a mother and/or fetus is in distress, a doctor must accurately and promptly respond with appropriate medical intervention. Failing to do so can increase the newborn’s likelihood of suffering unnecessary head trauma during delivery.
Q: What can I do if I think it was my doctor who committed an error?
A: Parents who are suspicious that the treating doctor or medical staff had done something wrong which led to a misshapen skull in the newborn, can consult with a legal professional who is experienced in birth injury law. A hospital malpractice lawyer can evaluate your situation to determine whether filing a lawsuit may be in your best interest. In some cases, the parents may be entitled to substantial financial compensation for the birth injury, if it can be proven that a doctor or other medical staff were at-fault.
Q: Can’t I just submit a complaint to the hospital instead?
A: You can file a complaint to the hospital about your concerns that medical negligence or carelessness is what led to your baby’s misshapen skull. However, keep in mind that medical facilities are often large entities that want to do everything possible to protect themselves from very expensive lawsuits. You may find that filing a complaint doesn’t result in the type of resolution you were hoping for.