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a localized effusion of blood beneath the periosteum of the skull of a newborn, due to disruption of the vessels during birth. Cephalhematoma, in contrast to caput succedaneum, does not cross cranial suture lines. It is firmer to the touch than an edematous area: it feels like a water-filled balloon. Cephalhematoma usually appears on the second or third day after birth and disappears within weeks or months.
A collection of blood beneath the periosteum, frequently seen in a newborn as a result of birth trauma; contrasted with caput succedaneum, in which the effusion overlies the periosteum and consists of serum.
[cephal- + G. haima, blood, + -ōma, tumor]