Subgaleal Hematomas

Skull fractures are serious complications that have a few tell-tale signs, one of which is what is known as a subgaleal hematoma. This injury is the result of blood pooling below the surface of the skin, below the lower section of the scalp and the top layer of tissue of the skull. While it does not appear as drastic as a caput succedaneum injury, considering that those types of hematomas occur directly below the skin itself, this injury is often visible without the assistance of medical instruments.

From the appearance of this type of bruise, the pooling blood may appear as a bump or deformity on the head. The swelling may spread across much of the skull, covering more space than similar injuries such as cephalohematomas.

Generally, subgaleal hematomas occur during childbirth when physicians determine that a vacuum birth is necessary. The vacuum may put extreme forces on the infant’s skull, leading to ruptured blood vessels in several areas, potentially leading to a number of different bruises along the scalp. This bruise may also be a clue for spotting a possible fracture in the skull, which can cause local blood vessels to rupture due to the forces of the trauma.

Treatment may become necessary if the blood loss becomes significant both for adults and infants. The situation may become more serious for children, as the space in between their skull and scalp is capable of retaining up to half of their body’s blood.

If you have more questions concerning head injuries, the consequences of untreated hematomas, and how negligence may have a role to play in these injuries, contact a personal injury attorney.