Umbilical Cord Complications
A healthy pregnancy followed by a complication free labor and delivery is every pregnant mother’s hope. In the end, every family just wants to bring home a healthy baby. Although most pregnancies have a happy ending, some result in a serious birth injury after unanticipated complications. Umbilical cord complications, like umbilical cord compression, are some of the most common causes of birth injury in children. If your doctor failed to recognize or appropriately resolve an umbilical cord complication, he or she may be guilty of medical malpractice. If your family has been injured by a doctor’s negligence in this way, keep reading to learn more or call our offices at (312) 236-2900 to speak with a trusted medical malpractice attorney.
The Umbilical Cord
The umbilical cord is a growing baby’s tie to life. It connects a fetus to its mother’s womb, transporting oxygen and nutrients from mother to baby, and returning waste and deoxygenated blood from baby to mother through its vein and two arteries. In the final months of pregnancy, antibodies pass through the umbilical cord to give a baby immunity from infections for the first few months of life. These life giving blood vessels are protected by a gelatinous substance called Wharton’s jelly and covered by a membrane. Even so, the umbilical cord is quite delicate and sensitive to complications during pregnancy and delivery.
The most common type of umbilical cord complication is umbilical cord compression. When the umbilical cord is compressed, blood flow through the cord can be obstructed, thus depriving a fetus of oxygen, and potentially resulting in permanent brain injury. An umbilical cord can be compressed through a variety of misalignment issues, including some kind of entanglement, a knot in the cord, or when the cord becomes wrapped around the fetal neck. Other common complications include:
- Velamentous cord insertion – a complication where cord vessels are not protected by Wharton’s jelly and are at risk for rupture.
- Umbilical cord with a single artery
- Prolapsed umbilical cord
- Vasa praevia – a complication where blood vessels in the fetus are at risk for rupture.
It is your doctor’s job to identify umbilical cord complications and react accordingly. The appropriate remedies vary depending on the complication, the stage of pregnancy, and a number of other factors. For a prolapsed umbilical cord, your doctor may need to perform an emergency Cesarian section. In the case of a cord knot or a cord around your baby’s neck, your doctor may find a way to dislodge it through a number of methods during delivery.
In order to recognize an umbilical cord complication and respond in a timely manner, your doctor must appropriately monitor your baby during pregnancy and delivery for any sign of distress. If your doctor fails to notice or treat a complication, your baby could suffer catastrophic injury.
If your family has been harmed by a doctor’s failure to recognize or treat an umbilical cord complication, an experienced birth injury attorney may be able you get the compensation you deserve. Your doctor owes you a certain standard of care, and if he or she breached that duty, we have the experience and the resources to help you prove it. Please call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 to schedule your free consultation with a medical malpractice attorney.