Subgaleal Hematoma

Subgaleal hemorrhage is a rare collection of fluid in the potential space of the galeal or epicranial aponeurosisand cranial periosteum. Birth trauma and forceps use typically cause it (90% of cases), and may also be present in patients with blood clotting disorders.


This condition is similar in appearance to a cephalohematoma, though the cephalohematomas are unilateral, don’t cross over cranial sutures and located within the periosteum.

University of Utah

Distinguishing between these two is important as cephalohematomas are self-limiting and resolve on their own, whereas subgaleal bleeds can lead to a significant amount of blood loss which may lead to anemia and hypovolemic shock.


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