What is a cephalohematoma?

Cephalo- means “head” or “skull,” and a hematoma is a blood clot that occurs outside of a blood vessel. A cephalohematoma is a clot that occurs in the area between the skull and the periosteum (the membrane that covers the skull) as a result of ruptured blood vessels. Infant cephalohematomas are associated with the use…

How does intraventricular hemorrhage (brain bleed) relate to HIE?

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) can often cause intraventricular hemorrhaging. When a baby sustains an oxygen deprivation-related injury (whether it is from trauma, misuse of assistive instruments, mismanaged umbilical cord issues or undiagnosed maternal health issues), it can result in brain bleeds. What is Intraventricular Hemorrhage (IVH)? The brain has four ventricles, which are spaces filled with…

What are the causes of newborn brain injuries?

The causes of newborn brain injuries vary greatly. Most commonly, neonatal brain damage is either caused by trauma to the baby’s brain and skull and/or a lack of oxygen flow to the baby’s brain near the time of birth. Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a dangerous type of neonatal brain injury that is caused by a lack…

My baby had a brain hemorrhage. Is it possible my physician made an error?

Yes, if your baby experienced a brain hemorrhage around the time of birth, it could indicate that a medical error was made. Brain hemorrhages (also known as intracranial hemorrhages or brain bleeds) can be the result of mismanaged obstetrical complications, misuse of delivery assistance tools, or other medical mistakes. Because brain hemorrhages are associated with medical…

What are the long-term effects of brain hemorrhages?

Infant brain hemorrhages encompass a variety of conditions with differing degrees of risk. Certain types of hemorrhages are very small and may not have long-term effects. However, if a hemorrhage is severe and/or poorly managed, permanent damage can occur. Here, we discuss a common complication of infant brain hemorrhages: posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (fluid build up in…

How are brain bleeds (intracranial hemorrhages) treated?

Treatment of intracranial hemorrhages (brain bleeds) depends on the type and severity of the injury. Because brain bleeds often result in permanent brain damage, treatment of intracranial hemorrhages is often supportive and therapeutic in nature. However, surgery may be necessary to manage certain intracranial hemorrhages, such as subdural hematomas. If an infection is present due to a…

How are infant brain bleeds and intracranial hemorrhages diagnosed?

Most infant brain bleeds–patricularly subdural hemorrhages and subarachnoid hemorrhages–are diagnosed with head imaging. The best method of detection for a brain bleed is through brain imaging studies via CT scan (computed tomography) or an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), which can detect blood within the skull. A CT scan uses x-rays and computer software to generate pictures…

What types of brain bleeds are there? What causes each type of brain bleed?

An intracranial hemorrhage (brain bleed) is a traumatic or hypoxic birth injury characterized by sudden, rapid bleeding within the infant’s skull or brain. Extracranial hemorrhages, which are similar to intracranial hemorrhages, are characterized by bleeding just outside the skull. Causes and risk factors for brain bleeds vary depending on the type and location of the brain bleed. Common…