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Caput Succedaneum

Upstate New York Birth Injury Law Firm Serving Families in Rochester and Syracuse What is Caput Succedaneum?

Caput succedaneum (often referred as only Caput), is a birth injury indicated by severe swelling of the scalp of the baby, accompanied by discoloration or redness of the skin. It is among the most common birth injuries that result from pregnancy complications. Most often, it is caused by pressure on baby's scalp during a head-first delivery. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers has experience in handling all types of birth injuries including caput succedaneum.

Sometimes these birth injuries can be superficial while other times the injuries could be more severe and lead to more severe complications.

If your child suffers from Caput Succedaneum due to issues related to an extended or distressed delivery, you may be entitled to a compensation for the damages suffered.

Call 833-200-2000 to schedule a free consultation with the medical malpractice lawyers at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano.

Signs and Symptoms

The most common signs and symptoms of this birth injury may include:

  • Soft and puffy swelling at the scalp
  • Swelling extending the scalp's midline
  • Hemorrhaging or bruising of the infant scalp's swelling, due to blood loss in the area
  • Increased molding of the bones of infant head caused by pressure during the delivery procedure
Causes and Risk Factors of Caput

The most common cause of Caput is a prolonged or harsh delivery. Usually, this birth injury occurs when the baby's scalp experiences pressure in birthing canal in a head-first delivery. The chances of Caput increase in deliveries where the help of vacuum extraction is taken. The risk factors of this birth injury may include:

  • Early breaking of water bag (early rupture of membranes)
  • Unusually low amniotic fluid
  • Complicated head-first birth
  • Vacuum extraction

When membranes rupture prematurely, amniotic sac stops giving a protective cushion to the baby's head, resulting in Caput. Sometimes, caput can be detected by a prenatal ultrasound well before delivery or labor. This means that the child can be born with Caput succedaneum even in C-section births. Its causes are early rupture of membranes or very low amniotic fluids.

After the delivery, the baby's scalp heals generally within a few days. Therefore, no treatment may be required. However, jaundice is a complication that may require immediate medical attention.


There is a yellow substance in the blood called 'bilirubin'. Usually, the liver cleans that out of the blood. Since the child's organs are young, sometimes it takes the liver a few days to do that. This leads to yellowness of the baby's eyes and skin. Jaundice is common in newborns, but it should be closely monitored by the doctors to make it stop as soon as possible. In case it doesn't stop, the baby may suffer from brain damage, deafness, and cerebral palsy.


Depending on the circumstances of the birth , this injury may or may not have been avoidable. However, comprehensive prenatal care and effective and careful management of labor and delivery procedure should minimize its chances. At our law firm we have access to medical experts from outside of the local area who will give us completely objective opinions as to whether there was malpractice or not in your case.

When to go for a Birth Injury Claim

Our law office is objective in the cases that we take. We will only pursue those cases where medical experts have given us objective opinions that there were deviations from accepted medical standards. If you have a potential case, call us or contact us online. Consultations are always free and you will never be responsible for any legal fees unless we are able to recover compensation for your child. Our birth injury law firm is based in Syracuse but we have additional offices in Upstate, New York to meet our clients. Thank you.

Client Reviews
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
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