- A caput succedaneum is localized serosanguineous edema of the scalp that occurs between the skin and aponeurosis of the scalp. These swellings can cross suture lines and are usually due to pressure from the pelvis, uterus or vagina.
- A subgaleal or aponeuneuroic hematoma occurs between the aponeurosis of the scalp and the periosteum of the bone. The galea aponeurotica occurs from the occiput to the eyebrows and laterally to the temporalis fascia. It therefore can cross suture lines and is a large potential space where hemorrhage can occur.Subgaleal hematomas usually occur due to shearing of emissary veins between the intracranial venous sinus and the scalp.
- A cephalohematoma is due to bleeding beneath the periosteum of the bone, i.e. between the periosteum and cortical bone. Therefore these swellings occur only over bone and do not cross suture lines. They occur in 2.5% of births.
Treatment includes treating the underlying hemorrhage with blood volume replacement, and treatment of congenital or acquired coagulopathies if present. Careful monitoring of the clinical condition and vital signs is necessary. Physical compression of the head may be helpful.