Newborn Nursery at LPCH

Subgaleal Bleed

photo by Janelle Aby, MD

From this angle, the subgaleal bleed is not visible. The subgaleal area (between the scalp and the skull) is a large potential space, so when bleeding occurs there, it easily moves to the dependent part of the head (in this photo the fluid is posterior and is causing the scalp to bulge loosely onto the mattress). As pressure is placed on that area, a fluid wave can be seen that radiates from the occiptal area all the way to the space over the anterior fontanelle (see following photos). Because of the size of the space, exsanguination of the baby's entire circulating blood volume into the subglaeal space is a possiblity if active beeding continues.

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