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Skull Fracture

What is A Skull fracture

Although rare a skull fracture is cause for concern since it can lead to serious consequences. A newborn’s skull is flexible allowing it to come through the birth canal more easily, however this means it is more vulnerable to a birth injury.

Most skull fractures are caused by the use of instruments during childbirth. Doctors and other medical professionals, including midwives or nurses, may use forceps or vacuum extractors to aid in the delivery of a baby when there is a difficult delivery.

The severity of skull fracture, or linear fracture, depends on each infant. If the fracture does not cause the plates of the skull to move, this type of fracture may heal without any intervention. Depressed or more severe linear skull fractures are much more likely to cause symptoms and to have serious complications for the infant that may require therapy or surgery.

If you suspect your child has suffered a skull fracture as a result of a birth injury, you should speak to a lawyer to understand if you are entitled to any compensation to assist your child’s current and future quality of life.

Types of Injury That Cause Skull Fracture

There are various types of skull fractures that result from trauma during childbirth. 

Natural Skull Fractures

Childbirth is physically intense for both infant and mother. A naturally occurring skull fracture can take place if an infant becomes caught in the mother's pelvic bone or turned abnormally.

Complicated Childbirth or Delivery

Even if a doctor does not use instruments during labor, the pressure to get the child out quickly may call for the use of abnormal or traumatic force to prevent an infant asphyxiating. This may cause a skull fracture to occur.

Abnormal Birth Position or Weight

During labor confusion may occur about your child; two of which are an underestimation of your newborn's weight or size, as well as an incorrect birth position of the infant, also known as a breech birth. Both of these miscalculations may increase the risk that the baby will have a more difficult birth experience and can cause trauma or fracture to the skull during their passage through the birth canal.

Instrument Induced Skull Fracture

Pressure from instruments, like forceps or vacuum extractors during childbirth, are the most common cause of infant skull fractures. Forceps and vacuums aid in a difficult delivery to grip the baby's head and pull it from the mother. The pressure caused by either of these instruments may result in a skull fracture.

Postnatal Skull Fractures

Newborns are very delicate, and improper handling or abuse may occur after birth that may result in a skull fracture.

Did Your Baby Suffer a Skull Fracture at Birth?

Although symptoms may vary by severity of each case, these are the most common characteristics.

Instruments are used in about 3% of births in the US. Mothers are able to refuse the use of instruments at birth.

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