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Bruising and Skin Irritation

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Routine birthing problems, including babies presenting for delivery in the feet first (breech) position, can lead to a variety of skin irritations and bruising. Some of the more common minor skin rashes or irritations that usually don’t cause permanent damage include:

Symptoms of Skin Damage:

  • Small white bumps on the face, also called “milia.” These are just blocked oil glands that go away once the glands become enlarged.
  • Pink pimples that develop after birth due to the baby’s exposure to the mother’s hormones in the womb.
  • Dry skin peeling off in layers. This often occurs when a baby was born a bit late. The skin underneath is usually quite moist and soft.
  • Salmon patches of darker flesh coloring (groups of blood vessels under the skin), frequently found on the back of the neck or between the eyes. These patches, probably caused by exposure to female hormones in the womb, may never fade.
  • Erythema toxicum which includes rashes that resemble mosquito bites or hives. They will usually disappear on their own.

Fortunately, many of these minor skin irritations heal naturally.

Bruising and Skin Irritations

When a doctor causes deep bruising after seriously mishandling the forceps or a vacuum extractor while delivering a child, the newborn may develop extremely poor muscle coordination and some form of paralysis. Furthermore, if serious facial bruising occurs, there may also be a pinched facial nerve below the surface that may cause facial paralysis. Surgery may be required to repair these conditions.

A physician can cause even more severe (bruising) conditions such as cephalohematoma and intracranial hemorrhaging. These can occur after too much pressure is applied to the baby’s head with the forceps or vacuum extractor during delivery. Cephalohematoma is marked by one or more blood pools forming between the bone and the fibrous covering of the head. An intracranial hemorrhage can develop if a doctor misuses a vacuum extractor, causing blood vessels to rupture in the baby’s brain. Death may result if the hemorrhage isn’t properly handled immediately.

Likewise, if a physician applies excessive pressure while pulling a baby through the birth canal with forceps, the baby’s skin may tear open and bleed. It’s critical for the bleeding area to be treated immediately so an infection won’t set in.   

Liability and Claims

When a doctor causes serious skin irritations or deep bruising in the delivery room, permanent scarring or more tragic results may follow. No child should have to live with cerebral palsy or another malady, without proper compensation, when the condition was caused by the treating physician.

Apart from simply wanting to seek justice for your child, you have a responsibility to think of the financial consequences of the doctor’s possible malpractice.    After your birth trauma attorney meets with you, he or she will review all of the pertinent medical records and then let you know whether all of the necessary legal elements are present for building a strong and hopefully successful lawsuit.

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