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Haematoma, cephalic

Haemorrhage under the periosteum of one of the bones of the skull of a newborn baby and visible as a fairly severe swelling which feels soft and as though it contains fluid. It is caused by friction of forceps or a vacuum extractor against the skull, or friction of the skull against the mother’s abdominal wall before birth. Apart from a temporary strangeness of appearance there should be no adverse consequences for the child. The blood is completely reabsorbed, sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly. Bone may be deposited, causing hardening of the swelling, but a cephalic haematoma disappears completely in the short or long run.

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