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Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg

Representing Birth Injury Victims Suffering From Head Trauma

While there are various birth injuries that can occur during the labor and delivery process, one of the most serious types of birth injuries that a newborn can suffer is head trauma.  An infant’s head is typically the first body part to enter the birth canal and tends to withstand the majority of the pressure that occurs during a delivery. In addition, complications often arise during deliveries warranting the need for more intensive measures.

Devices such as vacuum extractors and forceps are the medical devices that are generally utilized by obstetricians.  Unfortunately, these assistive devices are often used improperly or with excessive force causing serious head trauma.  These injuries can range from mild to severe and can be temporary or permanent.

Common Newborn Head Injuries

Some of the more common types of newborn head trauma caused by birth injury are:

  • Skull Fracture:

    The bones on an infant’s skull can be fractured during the birthing process.  Fractures can occur during a difficult delivery from the tremendous pressure that is exerted on an infant’s head as it travels through the birth canal.  The use of forceps or vacuum extractors can also cause skull fractures.  A linear skull fracture is a thin break in the cranial bone that looks like a line.  The bone is not depressed or distorted in any way. Linear skull fractures usually heal within a few weeks with no intervention.  A depressed skull fracture occurs when part of the cranial skull is crushed inwards toward the brain causing an indentation or depression. Surgery may be necessary.

  • Cephalohematoma:

    This is one of the most common injuries that babies suffer at birth particularly during a vacuum extraction or forceps-assisted delivery.  A cephalohematoma is a collection of blood between the skull and the thin membranous lining know as the periosteum which covers the bone.  This condition occurs when tiny blood vessels are torn as a result of pressure applied to an infant’s head during the labor and delivery process.  A large bump or bulge will typically be present at birth.  Babies need to be closely monitored for secondary complications such as jaundice, anemia or infection.  The bulge will typically heal on its own within several weeks with no treatment.

  • Caput Succedaneum:

    A fluid collection under the scalp that is visible as a lump or swelling on the head.  There may also be some bruising.  This condition typically occurs during a head-first delivery when pressure from the uterus pushes the infant’s head against the cervix.  No treatment is needed and the swelling usually resolves on its own within a couple of days.

  • Subgaleal Hematoma:

    This is a serious condition in which a collection of blood accumulates between the scalp galea aponeurosis and the skull periosteum.  This type of birth injury occurs most often when a vacuum extractor is misused during a delivery.  If a subgaleal hematoma is not quickly diagnosed and treated or misdiagnosed, the baby can suffer serious consequences such as jaundice, hypovolemic shock, brain damage or even death.

  • Intracranial Hemorrhage:

    This condition arises when bleeding occurs in or around an infant’s brain.  The rupture of blood vessels within the skull causes bleeding.  There are several different types of hemorrhages depending on where the bleeding occurs.  Some examples included subarachnoid hemorrhage, intraventricular hemorrhage, subdural hemorrhage and intraparenchymal hemorrhage.  Symptoms can include lethargy, irritability, seizures, bulging fontanel, poor feeding and signs of shock.

The Law Offices of James R. Moyles:  Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Pittsburgh Protecting the Rights of Birth Injury Victims in Pennsylvania

If you suspect that your child has suffered a birth injury caused by medical malpractice or negligence, contact The Moyles Law Firm to discuss your potential claim with a highly skilled Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyer who knows how to get results.  We will aggressively advocate for and protect your child’s best interests.  We can assist you in recovering compensation for medical and hospital expenses, costs of future treatments, lost wages from missed time at work, and pain and suffering.  Call our Pittsburgh office at 412-281-1055 or our Harrisburg office at 717-233-5400 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced medical malpractice lawyers or contact us online.

James R. Moyles


The Law Offices of James R. Moyles are located in Pittsburgh, PA and in the Harrisburg area to serve clients in and around Dauphin, Perry, Lancaster, York, Franklin. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Attorney Advertising. This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.