Umbilical Cord Problems That Can Lead To Birth Injuries


During pregnancy, the umbilical cord delivers essential nutrients and oxygen to the fetus while removing waste. Unfortunately, however, the umbilical cord can be damaged during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, and these types of accidents can endanger the infant’s health and life. If your child suffered from a birth injury because of umbilical cord problems, you should speak to a birth trauma attorney at Raynes & Lawn today. Here are some umbilical cord accidents that should be immediately addressed to prevent harm to the baby.

Compressed Umbilical Cord

Compression of the umbilical cord can be dangerous because it can result in reduced blood flow to the baby and a lack of oxygen. Some of the reasons why the umbilical cord might be compressed are described below.

Nuchal Cord

A nuchal cord occurs when a baby’s umbilical cord is wrapped around the neck. Most babies who are born with nuchal cords will be normal and healthy. However, the cord can sometimes cut off the oxygen and blood flowing to the baby’s brain. When that occurs, a Caesarean section might be necessary.

Prolapse Of The Umbilical Cord

During delivery, the umbilical cord can precede the baby into the birth canal and become compressed by the baby’s body. A prolapse of the umbilical cord normally occurs when the amniotic sac ruptures too soon, but it can also happen with multiple births, preterm birth, breech birth, an excessively long umbilical cord, or excess amniotic fluid. When there is a prolapsed cord, the doctor might be able to move the fetus away from the cord to prevent compression. However, a C-section might be necessary.

Some of the possible complications of a prolapsed umbilical cord include the following:

  • Brain damage
  • Stillbirth
  • Respiratory acidosis
  • Drop in the baby’s heart rate
  • Decreased blood and oxygen supply to the brain

Cord Torsion

Cord torsion occurs when the cord twists repeatedly. The twisting can result in reduced blood and oxygen to the baby.

Knot In The Umbilical Cord

A knot in the umbilical cord can form when the fetus moves around in the uterus. In most cases, the knot will be loose and will not harm the baby. However, it can tighten and cut off the baby’s oxygen and blood supply.

Some of the potential complications from a knot in the umbilical cord include the following:

  • Stillbirth
  • Miscarriage
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Damage caused by decreased oxygen

Vasa Previa

Vasa previa is a condition in which the umbilical cord’s or placenta’s blood vessels cross the cervix, leaving them unprotected. This condition can cause the exposed blood vessels to tear during labor or to have pressure placed on them that can cause problems. Vasa previa is more common in multiple pregnancies. It is also likelier to occur when the fetus’s umbilical cord is not properly connected to the placenta or if the mother suffers from placenta previa.

Some of the problems that vasa previa can cause include the following:

  • Potentially life-threatening hemorrhaging
  • Reduced oxygen supply
  • Infant death
  • Fetal heart rate deceleration

Single Umbilical Artery

An umbilical cord should contain more than one artery. The cause of a single umbilical artery is unknown, but it happens more frequently in multiple pregnancies.

This abnormality can cause the following problems:

  • Birth defects
  • Premature labor
  • Stillbirth
  • Neonatal death
  • Kidney, heart, or digestion issues

Umbilical Cord Cysts

The umbilical cord can sometimes develop cysts. While most cysts will not be harmful, they can be if they are too large. If the umbilical cord contains large cysts, a C-section might be necessary to prevent them from breaking.

Birth Injuries Caused By Umbilical Cord Problems

Cerebral palsy is the most common type of birth injury that can result from umbilical cord issues. It is typically caused when the oxygen supply to the baby’s brain during delivery is cut off. It can happen when there is a prolapse of the umbilical cord that is not promptly identified and addressed. Cerebral palsy might not be diagnosed for several months or years after a baby is born. There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but treatment might help the child to improve in motor functioning.

Umbilical cord problems can also cause birth asphyxia. A child can suffer birth asphyxia when the supply of oxygen to the brain is reduced during delivery and can happen when there is a nuchal cord or a prolapse of the umbilical cord. In some cases, a baby who is born with a nuchal cord might suffer brain damage.

These types of birth injuries can be prevented if the medical staff properly monitors the mother and baby. If the medical providers do not properly monitor the baby and mother, the infant might suffer serious injuries that cause lifelong problems.

Types Of Negligence That Can Cause Umbilical Cord-Related Conditions

Umbilical cord problems are not considered to be birth injuries because most of them happen because of unavoidable causes. However, if a doctor does not diagnose and treat an umbilical cord condition on time, the child might suffer a birth injury.

Some examples of negligence that might cause birth injuries because of umbilical cord conditions include the following:

  • Failing to conduct proper tests
  • Failing to properly monitor the fetus during labor and delivery
  • Failing to schedule a C-section
  • Failing to recognize an umbilical cord problem
  • Delaying treatment for an umbilical cord problem

Talk To A Child Injury Lawyer

While umbilical cord problems naturally occur, they can cause serious birth injuries or fatalities when they are not properly identified and promptly treated. If your baby suffered a serious birth injury because of the negligence of your doctor or another medical provider, you should speak to the attorneys at Raynes & Lawn. Call us today for a free consultation at 1-800-535-1797.




Get Help from an Experienced Injury Attorney

If you have lost your limb in an accident caused by someone else or while working on the job, you should speak to an experienced injury lawyer at Raynes & Lawn. Our team of attorneys is experienced in handling catastrophic injury claims, and we work hard to help our clients recover maximal compensation for their injuries and losses. Call us today at 1-800-535-1797 to request a free consultation.

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