The umbilical cord is the life source for a developing baby. It is this link from the child to the mom’s placenta that maintains a child’s rich blood supply during pregnancy. Occasionally, the umbilical cord can move into a dangerous position and wrap around the child’s neck. If this complication is not discovered and dealt with properly, the baby can quickly become oxygen-starved and suffer severe and fatal injuries like brain damage and organ failure.
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Umbilical Cord Dangers
Umbilical cord strangulation occurs in a very small percentage of pregnancies, and when it does, the key to avoiding serious health consequences lies in the timing of treatment.
In many dangerous umbilical cord situations, ordering a C-section birth poses an immediate solution. Once the incision is made in the mother’s stomach, the doctor can gently unwrap the umbilical cord and proceed with the extraction of the child, or cut the cord right away.
In some instances of umbilical cord strangulation, the problem is not discovered in time to prevent serious injury. This can happen due to the labor and delivery team’s failure to closely observe the child’s condition with a fetal heartbeat monitor or ultrasound test. If there are actions your doctor could have taken to minimize the risk of strangulation, but instead overlooked important safety precautions, he or she can be held accountable for the harm that resulted.
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Investigating Umbilical Cord Strangulation
If a doctor or nurse’s bad decision concerning your child’s umbilical cord complication directly led to injury, you may have a claim for medical negligence.
A birth injury lawyer can review the details of your labor and delivery to help you decide if filing a claim is the best decision for your family. You may be entitled to substantial compensation for the life-threatening injuries your child suffered.
The umbilical cord serves as the baby’s lifeline during pregnancy. It supplies blood, oxygen, and nutrients while the baby grows and develops. When the cord gets compressed, the flow of oxygen-rich blood slows down or stops. Cutting off this vital supply can lead to serious consequences if it lasts for more than a few seconds. This could include brain damage or even death.
If your baby suffered injuries related to umbilical cord compression, you may be eligible to pursue a civil case against the doctor or hospital where the birth injury occurred. To learn more, call (844) 908-0346 now. A team member from the Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help with your case and explain your rights.
Causes and Symptoms of Umbilical Cord Compression
Umbilical cord compression is one reason why doctors monitor the baby’s heart rate during labor and delivery. If the baby’s heart rate decelerates (slows down), the baby may be experiencing umbilical cord compression or another serious health concern. This could require an emergency cesarean (c-section) delivery or other action to limit the injury to the baby’s brain.
If your baby experiences signs of umbilical cord compression during birth and the doctor does not act to deliver the baby immediately, this may support a medical malpractice case.
Umbilical cord compression most commonly occurs before birth when:
- The umbilical cord becomes knotted
- The cord wraps around the baby’s neck
During delivery, umbilical cord compression generally occurs because of cord prolapse. Umbilical cord prolapse is a situation when the cord enters the birth canal before the baby and becomes stuck between the baby and the walls of the birth canal.
Problems with the umbilical cord are more common in breech babies delivered vaginally and vaginal delivery of multiples.
Understanding the Dangers of Umbilical Cord Compressions
When an umbilical cord is compressed for a short time, there may be few, if any, lasting effects. This is why taking immediate action is vital. When the cord compression lasts longer, and the baby goes without vital oxygen and blood for a longer period of time, the risks increase dramatically. Cord compression can cause lifelong injuries, including:
- Brain injury
- Cerebral palsy
- Behavioral concerns
Umbilical cord compression is a common cause of stillbirth, as well.
When a doctor monitors the baby’s heart rate and spots the signs of umbilical cord compression, they can take action to deliver the baby, preventing extensive brain damage and death.
You May Be Eligible to Recover Compensation Based on Your Child’sInjuries
If your child suffered birth injuries related to a compressed umbilical cord, you may be eligible to recover compensation by holding the doctor or hospital liable. The doctor and medical team who monitored your baby’s health and process during labor and delivery have a duty to watch for signs of umbilical cord compression and other issues, and take action to prevent injuries.
You may have a valid medical malpractice birth injury case if your child sustained brain injuries because of the doctor or staff:
- Failed to monitor the child’s wellbeing
- Failed to check the monitors when there was a problem
- Failed to diagnose the problem as something to be concerned about
- Failed to deliver the child immediately despite there being a problem
Your attorney can help you understand what it takes to prove this type of case. Many states require testimony from a medical expert witness who can help the courts understand the expected standard of care and how your doctor’s failure to provide this standard of care caused your child’s injuries.
They will also likely present evidence to show the nature and severity of your child’s injuries and how they affect them today and in the future. This is a key part of proving the noneconomic damages your child has faced and will face as they grow. In addition, your attorney will document a wide range of economic damages and pursue compensation to cover them. This commonly includes:
- Medical care expenses and related costs
- Ongoing care costs
- Adaptive equipment and other prescribed medical equipment
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to your child’s injuries or treatment
- Pain and suffering damages
- Wrongful death damages, if your baby passed away because of their injuries
Your attorney can help you protect your rights and pursue compensation for your financial losses and your child’s pain and suffering. If you have a strong case, you can likely pursue a payout for both current and future damages. This can be especially important if your child requires ongoing treatment and care related to lifelong impairment.
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AnAttorney Will Review Your Case for Free
If you believe your child suffered preventable birth injuries related to umbilical cord compression, you may be eligible to take legal action on their behalf. A birth injury lawyer who handles similar cases in your state is the best place to start. They can help you find out if you can file a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit.
Most birth injury medical malpractice attorneys offer free case reviews. They will discuss your case with you during a complimentary consultation, and help you understand your options for holding the doctor or hospital liable.
It is important to work with an attorney who is familiar with the medical malpractice process in your state, though. Each state has its own laws about proving these cases, navigating the process, and how long you can wait to file a lawsuit.
Talk to anAttorney in Your State
If your child sustained brain injuries or other birth injuries after an umbilical cord compression incident, you may be able to hold the doctor or hospital responsible and pursue compensation. At the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, a member of our team can help you today.
Call (844) 908-0346 to get started. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help you schedule a free consultation with a birth injury lawyer in your state today.
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Umbilical Cord Problems and Dangers News
An umbilical cord strangulation is a rare event, but it can cause all kinds of complications. It can even kill the child as they are born. Surprisingly, it doesn’t have to wrap around the neck to kill a baby. If it wraps around a limb, it can still cut off enough pressure to keep the baby from getting oxygen.
A couple in New Zealand recounted their story where this happened to their child on the Noted website. An ultrasound revealed to the Pitocks that their baby had strangulated itself before it was born. The child was dead before birth.
The mother chose to deliver the baby naturally. After labor, the doctors said that the cord had wrapped twice around the baby’s ankle. After both parents held the baby for some time, the hospital took care of the body.
But the trauma didn’t stop there. The mother’s body kept producing milk expecting the child. The cruelty of hospital billing hit the family with expenses. People who knew of the pregnancy kept calling to ask about the baby.
It took several years to process the grief with the help of a support group, but as the father in the story says, the pain never really goes away.
If you have experienced the loss of a child due to a birth injury, don’t just seek financial compensation. You may need the help and support of others to deal with the mental trauma of the event. Please consider finding a support group or counselor who specializes in these issues.
A jury in Port Townsend, Washington, has awarded a family $23.9 million after a baby suffered slow suffocation during labor and ended up with permanent brain damage. Business Wire reported on the matter.
The jury believed the story of the plaintiffs. They said that workers ignored several signs that their baby was having trouble breathing due to the umbilical cord wrapping around the child’s neck. When the baby came out, she was blue and needed a lot of medical intervention to survive.
The attorneys argued that the fetal heart monitor, which could have been used to catch the problem early, was connected to the mother instead of the baby for the last three hours of the labor. That negligence caused the doctors to miss the problem. Now the baby will have to deal with brain damage for the rest of her life.
Expert witnesses also testified that standard protocols for preventing this error were not followed. For instance, the mother’s heart rate could be taken at intervals and compared with the fetal monitor to ensure they aren’t identical. They also failed to notice that the heart rate was increasing with each contraction. This is common in mothers but unusual in babies.
The child, now six years old, cannot dress or feed herself, but she has managed to learn to walk. The money should help her deal with her medical needs.
Lawsuit Alleges Prison Killed Her Baby Through Negligence
A woman in Albuquerque is suing the Metropolitan Detention Center after her baby was killed in 2016. KOB4 has the story.
The lawsuit claims the facility didn’t have enough training and staff, and that the mother was neglected during her labor for more than 24 hours, possibly due to her past history as a meth user.
No medical provider was present when she went into labor and her requests to go to the hospital were denied by the staff. She then asked to be put among other inmates for emotional support but she was moved into a solitary cell. When an ambulance was called, the paramedics looked at the doctor on duty to help deliver the baby, but the doctor refused.
The baby was born dead after the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. She gave birth inside the jail cell.
The county and the MDC no longer do business with the medical contractors that were working at the time of the incident. The woman’s attorneys plan to file suit against the county.
If this suit is true, this is a clear-cut case of medical neglect that caused the death of a child due to something completely preventable. We hope that the plaintiff receives enough compensation to be made whole after such a harrowing incident.
Man Strives To Live Best Life Despite Umbilical Cord Problems At Birth
A man from Shoreham, UK, was born with his umbilical cord around his neck in 1973. The result was cerebral palsy. But he hasn’t let that stop him. Patrick Souiljaert has become an author, a motivational speaker, a meditation teacher, and now a sailor. The Argus reports.
Patrick began sailing in 2013. A friend of his told him about Sussex Sailability, an organization that helps people with disabilities to sail. He had never tried sailing before so he gave it a go.
He fell in love with the activity. By this third visit, he was sailing on his own. It’s now one of his regular weekend hobbies. For three years he only used a small boat. Then he decided to try team sailing.
The organization pairs people with disabilities with experienced sailors who volunteer to provide lessons on special boats. Many members are former sailors who have become disabled and still want to enjoy the water.
When people are brought low by disability, activities like these can be the thing that throws them a lifeline to a new purpose in life. If you have a child with disabilities, encourage them to try new things and seek out organizations that cater to the disabled for assistance.
New Birthing Simulator Can Train Doctors For High-Risk Birth Scenarios
How do doctors train for unusual situations during birth? Partly through study, of course, but sometimes it has to be learned on the fly. Medicine is tricky and it’s hard to simulate conditions. But a new device is helping obstetricians at one hospital prepare for tricky birth situations. The Times-Leader has the story.
At the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital, a new birthing simulator is being used to train doctors on how to deal with risky births. The simulator is a robot, shaped like a mannequin, that can recreate many birthing scenarios, including high-risk ones. The simulator is named Victoria by the staff.
Victoria has been designed to replicate serious issues like breech births, umbilical cord strangulation, shoulder dystocia, and other mechanical problems that can cause serious damage to the mother or the baby. The “mother” can also simulate pulse, blood pressure, eye movement, and other indicators that can tell doctors if a mother is in distress. The baby also has similar features.
With this “high-fidelity” tool, the hospital hopes reduce the chances of a birth trauma during birth. We hope that these kinds of simulators become more common in hospitals so that fewer babies suffer injuries from inexperienced doctors.
Why Breech Births Are Dangerous
Babies move around a lot in the womb, but near the end of pregnancy, around 36 weeks, a baby is supposed to turn so their head faces the birth canal. When this doesn’t happen, this is called a breech birth. An article from The New Times explains why this is dangerous.
Breech births carry a higher risk of death and injury. Premature babies and babies with congenital issues have a higher risk of breech birth. The most dangerous time for a breech baby is birth.
In a breech birth, the umbilical cord can drop before the baby does. This can compress the cord and cut off the supply of oxygen to the baby. This can lead to brain damage and cerebral palsy. Other forms of umbilical cord strangulation are also possible, such as the cord wrapping around a part of the baby. The position can also cause the head to be trapped in the womb and cause ruptures in the mother from the contractions.
Doctors have several ways to try to turn a baby before birth to prevent a breech birth. One common way is to press on the mother’s stomach to turn the baby manually to the correct position. Another is to turn the mother upside down to elevate the pelvis. This can get the baby to move as well.
A 31-year-old man has successfully qualified to fight in his first amateur fight despite being born with quadriplegic cerebral palsy. The CBC reports on his achievement.
Zeus Sequeira was born in India. Seven months in the pregnancy, his mother felt there was something wrong. An ultrasound found that Zeus’ umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. Due to the lack of oxygen, he suffered brain damage that left him paralyzed in all four limbs.
Doctors had said that he would not have a lot of mobility below his neck. He couldn’t stand until he was three years of age.
When he turned 15, he underwent operations to reconstruct his muscles and skeleton. That enabled him to stand up straight and begin exercise. In 2017, after being inspired by the Rocky series, he started to train in the sport. By this point, he had emigrated to Canada.
Thanks to his hard work, he has received a medical clearance to fight in the ring for his first match. Even if he loses, he feels like he has made a huge victory just getting his physical condition this far.
Zeus hopes to raise money through his amateur boxing for charity. He received a lot of help to get the surgeries he had and he wants to pay it forward. We wish him luck in his boxing career!