Neonatal subgaleal hemorrhage unrelated to assisted vaginal delivery: clinical course and outcomes

Gabriel Levin*, David Mankuta, Smadar Eventov-Friedman, Yossef Ezra, Uriel Elchalal, Simcha Yagel, Amihai Rottenstreich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of the study was to evaluate the occurrence of subgaleal hemorrhage (SGH) following non-assisted vaginal delivery (normal vaginal delivery or cesarean delivery), and to characterize associated factors, clinical course, and outcomes, compared to attempted assisted vaginal delivery (AVD)-associated SGH Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted. All cases of SGH encountered following delivery of a singleton neonate at Hadassah, Hebrew University Medical Center during 2011–2018 were included. Maternal, fetal, intrapartum, and neonatal characteristics and outcomes were compared between AVD-related and non-AVD-related SGH groups. Results: The overall incidence of SGH was 4.5/1000 (369/82,256) singleton deliveries. The incidences of AVD- and non-AVD-related SGH were 44.6/1000 (350/7852) and 0.3/1000 (19/74,404) singleton deliveries, respectively. Ten (53%) of the 19 non-AVD-related SGH were diagnosed after vaginal delivery and 9 (47%) after an urgent cesarean section. SGH severity was mild, moderate, and severe in 68%, 16%, and 16% of the cases, respectively. SGH severity did not differ between the attempted AVD group and the non-AVD-related SGH group. A higher proportion of neonates with non-AVD SGH required phototherapy treatment than did those diagnosed with AVD-related SGH (56% vs. 24%, P = 0.003). Other neonatal outcomes, including Apgar scores, maximal bilirubin level, length of stay, and the rate of composite adverse outcomes, did not differ between the groups. Conclusions: SGH, although rare, may be diagnosed after unassisted vaginal or cesarean delivery in the absence of an AVD attempt. We advocate continuing education for all medical staff who participate in peripartum and neonatal care, regarding the possible occurrence of non-AVD-related SGH.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)93-99
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Cesarean delivery
  • Morbidity
  • Outcomes
  • Subgaleal hemorrhage
  • Vaginal delivery


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