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Diastatic Skull Fractures

A diastatic skull fracture may cause developmental delays, especially if associated with underlying brain injury. There’s a risk of raised intracranial pressure if the fracture leads to brain swelling or hemorrhage. In some cases, this type of fracture can result in cosmetic deformities of the skull, and there might be a need for surgical intervention. The specific ongoing issues largely depend on the severity of the fracture and any accompanying brain trauma. On this page, we answer common FAQs about this injury and the process for seeking compensation.

Diastatic Skull Fracture xray

Helpful Information

A diastatic skull fracture is a type of cranial fracture that occurs along the sutures of the skull, the areas where the bony plates in the skull join during childhood development. This fracture is more common in infants and young children because their sutures are not fully fused. In diastatic fractures, the normal suture lines are widened, often due to a traumatic injury. This widening can be seen in imaging studies like X-rays or CT scans. Diastatic skull fractures are significant because they can indicate severe head trauma and may require special medical attention to address potential underlying brain injuries.

What are the most common causes of diastatic skull fractures?

Diastatic skull fractures most commonly occur in infants and young children, primarily due to their skull sutures not being fully fused. These fractures are often caused by significant head trauma, which can result from incidents such as falls, motor vehicle accidents, or child abuse. In the case of newborns, they can also occur during a difficult childbirth. The flexibility of a child’s skull can lead to a greater likelihood of the sutures separating under force, resulting in a diastatic fracture.

How are diastatic skull fractures treated?

The treatment of diastatic skull fractures varies based on the severity and symptoms. In many cases, especially with minor fractures in young children, conservative management such as close observation and pain management is sufficient, as these fractures can heal on their own over time. However, if the fracture is severe, involves underlying brain injury, or is associated with neurological symptoms, more intensive treatments may be required. This could include surgical intervention to repair the fracture or relieve pressure on the brain. Continuous monitoring for any signs of complications, like swelling or infection, is crucial in the management of these fractures.

Can I bring an injury claim for my child if they suffered a diastatic skull fracture?

Yes, it’s possible to pursue a compensation claim on behalf of your child if they suffered a diastatic skull fracture due to someone else’s negligence or harmful actions. In addition to seeking a general damages award, you can also claim for medical costs, future care needs, and general expenses. The team at McCarthy + Co is highly experienced in dealing with cases involving injuries to children, including birth injury claims. For advice on bringing a claim, contact us here.

How much compensation will my child get?

In Ireland, there are different processes for personal injury and medical negligence claims. Your child’s injury will be classified as a personal injury if it occurred without any negligence on the part of a healthcare professional. For example, due to a car accident or a fall. In these circumstances, the Judicial Council’s Personal Injuries Guidelines provides an outline of general damages for different categories of injury. For advice on medical negligence compensation, contact our medical negligence team.

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Flor McCarthy

Flor McCarthy

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wears multiple hats, not only as the managing partner of one of Ireland’s leading law firms, but also as an author, speaker and an acknowledged expert in client service, innovation and marketing.

Beginning his academic journey at UCC, Flor furthered his education with a master’s degree in law from UCD. After gaining valuable experience as a solicitor in Dublin, the allure of home and the family brought him back to West Cork to contribute his expertise to the family business.
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John McCarthy

John McCarthy

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is a seasoned solicitor with almost 20 years of experience, specialises in personal injury and medical negligence claims, focusing particularly on high-value compensation cases. His extensive litigation experience spans Circuit Court, High Court and Supreme Court levels.

John's practice involves a diverse range of cases, from personal injury and wrongful death to property damage, defective products, professional negligence and judicial reviews.
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