caput succedaneum

Caput succedaneum is a serosanguineous, subcutaneous, extraperiosteal fluid collection with poorly defined margins caused by the pressure of the presenting part against the dilating cervix [tourniquet effect of the cervix].

Newborn Scalp bleeds

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Newborn Scalp bleeds

Symptoms

Caput succedaneum extends across the midline and over suture lines and is associated with head moulding. Caput succedaneum does not usually cause complications and usually resolves over the first few days. A caput succedaneum does cross the suction line.

Management

Management consists of observation only. A complete and fast recovery will normally occur with caput succedaneum. If the baby’s scalp contour has changed, a normal contour should be regained.

The baby will often be (understandably) irritable so may require analgesia for it’s headache and handling should be kept to a minimum for the first few days.

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