Caput Succedaneum – Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

Caput Succedaneum – Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment


What is caput succedaneum?

Caput succedaneum” relates to swelling, or edema, of an infant’s scalp that shows as a lump or bump on their head briefly after delivery.

This situation is non-toxic and is caused by pressure put on the infant’s head during delivery. It doesn’t refer to damage to the brain or the bones of the cranium. However it may lead to other kinds of issues, like jaundice.

Although caused by the same factors, this situation should not be confused with cephalohematoma, which belongs to bleeding under the scalp.

What causes caput succedaneum?

Prolonged pressure caused by dilated cervix or vaginal walls on the baby’s head results in swelling, puffiness and bruising. These are known as hallmark signs of caput succedaneum.

A long, difficult labor with full pushing may cause this situation. Using vacuum suction or forceps may also enhance the risk of this kind of swelling.

Scalp swelling can be more similar if the amniotic sac membranes rupture at an early stage during labor.

In some conditions, if the membranes disrupt very early or if there is very less fluid in the amniotic sac, the pelvic bones of the mother will set pressure on the infant’s head.

As a result, this type of scalp swelling can occur before labor and may be seen in utero on ultrasound.

In general, the longer there is a fluid cushion on all sides of the infant, the lower the possibility of scalp swelling.

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What are the symptoms of caput succedaneum?

The major sign of caput succedaneum is puffiness beneath the skin of the scalp. The skin becomes swollen and soft.

By pressing on it causes a dimple in the flesh. The swelling can occur on one side or may spread over the midline of the scalp.

The effects are usually most clear on the part of the skull that was the initial to come down the birth canal.

There may occur some kind of discoloration or bruising, but this may not be as extensive as in cephalohematoma.

Once the swelling decreases, you can notice that your baby’s head is marginally pointed due to the pressure on the bones of the head. This may be called moulding.

This should depart over time. The baby’s head bones are not fused and may move considerably without any harm.

According to the physical examination of the newborn infant is all that’s necessary for a diagnosis.

What is the treatment for caput succedaneum?

Caput succedaneum will resolve on its own within a few days. Any kind of effort to drain the fluid from the scalp may lead to other problems such as infection.

What are the potential complications of caput succedaneum?

The swelling and bruising may enhance the danger of infant jaundice, which is yellowing of the skin caused by excess bilirubin in the blood. According to the Mayo Clinic, this should resolve without any treatment within 2 to 3 weeks.

Sometimes, untreated jaundice may lead to serious health issues, so make sure the doctor of your child marks your concerns about jaundice.

If your child promotes jaundice that does not improve within many weeks, consult your child’s doctor immediately. Blood tests can be necessary to diagnose the underlying cause of the jaundice.

The Conclusion

No treatment is necessary for this situation, and it has no long-term effects. The swelling should clear up within several days, and the scalp appears normal within days or weeks.

A huge or swollen head is a normal sign of this condition. Your baby’s medical consultant will be able to determine their condition after delivery and may monitor their condition to ensure there are no lasting effects.

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