Infant Skull Fractures

Infant skull fractures during birth or any other time, can leave devastating consequences that last a lifetime. In fact, skull fractures remain the leading cause of both death and disabilities in children. Skull fractures range from moderate to severe, but regardless of how minor the injury seems, immediate medical treatment is imperative.

How Does a Skull Fracture Happen to Newborns?

In many instances, a skull fracture occurs during a difficult delivery in which the baby is lodged in the mother’s pelvic area, is too large for normal delivery, and in some cases, too small for normal delivery. When an infant is stuck during delivery, the risk of oxygen loss is heightened, and in an attempt to reduce the chances of brain damage, physician may tug too harshly or use birth-assisting tools improperly, in a haste to deliver the baby as quickly as possible.

In addition, the pressure on an infant’s skull during delivery may cause a skull fracture, especially if the mother experiences prolonged contractions. In rare instances, a baby may be dropped shortly after birth, causing not only a skull fracture but a host of other medical issues.

Is an Infant Skull Fracture Preventable?

A skull fracture is always preventable. If the child endured a skull fracture as a result of a car accident, the accident could have been prevented by the responsible driver. If the child endured a skull fracture as a result of being dropped or having something dropped on him or her, the medical staff person is responsible for having dropped the baby or having dropped the item on the baby.

What is the Result of an Infant Skull Fracture?

There are a number of results to a skull fracture. Sometimes the fracture can be something that heals on its own, and sometimes a skull fracture can cause undue bleeding in the brain, seizures, stroke, brain damage, intellectual disability, or even death. A skull fracture has a number of serious consequences and should be addressed seriously.

What is the Treatment for an Infant Skull Fracture?

Treatment for a skull fracture depends on the severity of the injury. Sometimes a slight fracture can heal itself and should merely be monitored. A natural reaction to the fracture is swelling (edema) so the medical staff should monitor that in conjunction with the bleeding in the brain, both fluids potentially squeezing the brain inside the skull.

In more severe cases, a doctor may have to drain the fluid that has built up in the brain. If the fracture is so severe that the brain has been bruised and it turn caused swelling, doctors may decide to remove a piece of the skull and maybe even remove a piece of the brain (only in very rare, extreme cases when that part of the brain appears to be irrevocably damaged).

What is the Prognosis for an Infant Skull Fracture?

Again, this is a case-by-case basis. Extreme cases involve a lobotomy or a removal of part of the skull and may leave the child partially paralyzed or brain dead. Mild or light cases of skull fracture may merely involve monitoring, and the fracture may heal itself.