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Case report
Haematoma complicating subcutaneous fat necrosis of the newborn: a rare complication following therapeutic hypothermia
  1. Elhaytham Omar Sanad Elsayed1,
  2. Kamran Yusuf1,
  3. Frankie O G Fraulin2 and
  4. Prashanth Murthy1
  1. 1Pediatrics—Neonatology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  2. 2Section of Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, Alberta Children’s Hospital, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Elhaytham Omar Sanad Elsayed; elhaytham1396{at}


A term, large for gestational age male newborn, was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit with meconium aspiration syndrome and severe hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy. The baby was treated with therapeutic hypothermia using a total body cooling blanket. After 48 hours, the baby developed tender, indurated subcutaneous nodules consistent with subcutaneous fat necrosis (SCFN). The lesions started initially over the back but gradually spread to cover both shoulders, upper arms, chest area and both thighs. On day 19 of life, multiple small nodules on the back softened and coalesced to form one sizeable fluctuant swelling over the thoracolumbar area. Over a few hours, the swelling rapidly progressed to a large, tense mass with sloughing of the gangrenous overlying skin. This unusual complication of SCFN required surgical intervention for evacuation and debridement of the haematoma followed by graft repair of the skin defect.

  • neonatal intensive care
  • materno-fetal medicine
  • neonatal health
  • plastic and reconstructive surgery
  • dermatology
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  • Contributors EOSE: contributed in the management of the patient, approached the parents for consent, gathered the relevant data and wrote the manuscript. PM, KY and FOGF: contributed in the management of the patient, edited and approved the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Parental/guardian consent obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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