Umbilical Cord Problems and Birth Injury

A baby’s umbilical cord is the primary connection between the child and his or her mother. This link serves as a conduit for oxygen, nutrients, and other vital fluids to pass between the two. When there is a complication involving the umbilical cord before or during birth, the child’s health and life may be put into jeopardy.

Umbilical Cord Complications

Medical professionals must monitor a child’s umbilical cord throughout the entire pregnancy and birth process, in order to help ensure a healthy birth. There are several complications which, if not detected and treated properly, can be very serious.

Some of the more common preventable umbilical cord complications include:

  • Umbilical cord prolapse – If the umbilical cord moves down into the vagina after you go into labor, your baby may put pressure on it as he or she moves through the birth canal. This pressure can sometimes block vital oxygen from arriving to the baby as it is being born. Your doctor should monitor you after your water breaks, and determine if you are experiencing this condition.
  • Nuchal cord – Most people have heard about cases in which a baby has become wrapped up in its umbilical cord while in the womb or during the birthing process. This can be an extremely dangerous situation, especially when the cord becomes wrapped around the baby’s neck (about 20% of cases). Doctors have ultrasound technology which can help them diagnose this condition. Once recognized, a trained physician should be able to take steps to prevent serious injury.
  • Umbilical cord knot – Umbilical cord knots can form when the cord becomes wrapped into a knot structure. This complication is more likely to occur when a woman is pregnant with multiple babies at the same time. Umbilical cord knots can result in decreased nutrient and oxygen flow to the developing babies. They can also be a potentially serious pregnancy complication.
  • Umbilical cord cysts – In about three out of every 100 pregnancies cysts, or abnormal growths, form on the umbilical cord. These growths can significantly affect the fetus, even resulting in birth defects. Physicians can use ultrasound technology to detect umbilical cord cysts during the first trimester of pregnancy, and give you treatment options.

Umbilical Cord Complications and Birth Injuries

Many umbilical cord disorders can be identified by your physician during routine screening. However, physicians do make mistakes. If your child was born suffering from serious birth injuries due to an umbilical cord condition, your physician or attending medical personnel may be to blame.

Contact an experienced birth injury attorney today to discuss the facts surrounding your pregnancy and birth, and in order to receive valuable information about compensation to which you may be entitled.

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