Subgaleal hemorrhage

Subgaleal hemorrhage or hematoma is bleeding in the potential space between the skull (periosteum) and the scalp (galea aponeurosis).

subgeal 2


The majority (90%) result from applying a vacuum to the head at delivery (Ventouse assisted delivery). The vacuum assist ruptures the emissary veins (connections between dural sinus and scalp veins) leading to accumulation of blood under the aponeurosis of the scalp muscle and superficial to the periosteum. Subgaleal hematoma has a high frequency of occurrence of associated head trauma (40%), such as intracranial hemorrhage or skull fracture. The occurrence of these features does not correlate significantly with the severity of subgaleal hemorrhage.


The diagnosis is generally a clinical one, with a fluctuant boggy mass developing over the scalp  with superficial skin bruising. The swelling develops gradually 12–72 hours after delivery, although it may be noted immediately after delivery in severe cases. The hematoma spreads across the whole skull as its growth is insidious and may not be recognized for hours. If enough blood accumulates a visible fluid wave may be seen.

subgeal 1

Patients with subgaleal hematoma may present with hemorrhagic shock. The swelling may obscure the fontanel  and cross  suture lines (distinguishing it from cephalohematoma ). Watch for significant  high levels of bilirubin (the  chemical in your body which gives bruises their colour)


Management consists of vigilant observation over days to detect progression.The subgaleal space is capable of holding up to 50% of a newborn baby’s blood and can therefore result in acute shock and death. Fluid bolus ( A fluid bolus is a rapid infusion of intravenous fluid or medication that is usually administered to correct a life-threatening condition) may be required if blood loss is significant and patient becomes tachycardic. Transfusion and phototherapy (light therapy) may be necessary.


About Daddys with Angels.

We began as a group for grieving fathers and men in families, but other family members asked to join us. We now also have a group for Families with Angels dads and other male family members and siblings under 18. We have experienced and live with the harsh pain of loss and we hope we can bring other comfort with what we do, To find us please search for us on face book or Hugs to you all and floaty kisses to all your angels. We retain the name Daddys With Angels.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s