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. This example of medical negligence may warrant the assistance of an umbilical cord problems attorney to get your family the justice you deserve.
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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.
Cord compression can cause lifelong injuries and different types of birth injuries, including:
- Brain injury
- Cerebral palsy
- Behavioral concerns
In some instances of umbilical cord strangulation, the labor and delivery team’s failed to closely observe the child’s condition with a fetal heartbeat monitor or ultrasound test, and therefore the harm could have been prevented.
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 poor decision concerning your child’s birth complications led to injury, you may have a claim for medical negligence. An umbilical cord problems lawyer can review the details of your labor 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.
Umbilical Cord Compression
When the umbilical cord gets compressed, the flow of oxygen-rich blood slows down or stops. Cutting off this vital supply can lead to brain damage or even death if it lasts for more than a few seconds. Umbilical cord compression is when the umbilical cord wraps around the infant’s neck or body or becomes wedged between the infant’s head and the mother’s pelvis.
Because hyperactive intrauterine stimulation can cause the fetus to reposition itself, the position and functionality of the umbilical cord should be carefully observed via ultrasound. Along with fetal hiccups, the unusual or jerky fetal movement could be related to a variety of fetal blood flow disturbances including umbilical cord compression.
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Umbilical Cord Problems Lawsuit
Umbilical cord and other maternal observations should be taken seriously by your OBGYN. In some cases, the results of these exams and observations should lead your doctor to carefully examine your unborn child for umbilical cord issues, problems, and concerns.
If your child suffered injuries due to umbilical cord compression, you may have a case for financial recovery via a birth injury lawsuit. Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit without the assistance of an attorney for umbilical compression can add additional stress to your current situation.
You and your child could be entitled to a financial settlement that can help you ensure your child receives the specialized medical care and attention they deserve now and in the future. If you believe your baby’s condition was caused by a problem with their umbilical cord, a birth injury lawyer for umbilical compression can help you.
Filing a Timely Medical Malpractice Claim
Like every state, there’s a limit on the amount of time you have to file your lawsuit. Missing or misunderstanding that the timeline can have a seriously negative impact on your case. The timelines vary from state to state. Your state will also have its own rules in place that may allow you to toll, or temporarily stall, the statute of limitations for birth injury cases.
If your baby suffered injuries related to umbilical cord compression, a lawyer for umbilical cord problems in your state can advise you of relevant deadlines and ensure your case does not get dismissed or denied.
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
- The cord enters the birth canal before the baby and becomes stuck between the baby and the walls of the birth canal, also known as cord prolapse
You May Be Eligible to Recover Compensation Based on Your Child’s Umbilical Cord Injuries
If your child suffered birth injuries related to an umbilical cord problem, 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. In addition, your attorney will document your 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
- Wrongful death damages, if your baby passed away because of their injuries
Your umbilical cord problems 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.
Why Breech Births Are Dangerous
Near the end of pregnancy, around 36 weeks, a baby is supposed to turn so that their head faces the birth canal. When this doesn’t happen, this is called a breech birth. Premature babies and babies with congenital issues are at a higher risk for the dangers of breech births.
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. Other forms of umbilical cord strangulation are also possible, such as the cord wrapping around a part of the baby which can cause the head to be trapped in the womb.
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.
Acetaminophen May Cause Birth Problems Even Before Pregnancy
A new study published in the journal Pediatric Research claims that women who take the painkiller acetaminophen up to three months before pregnancy could cause their babies to be smaller and lighter.
Acetaminophen is recommended to pregnant women for inflammation, pain, and fever, but some new studies have found that the drug may not be safe for pregnant women and could cause cerebral palsy, ADHD, and other issues.
The study looked at 1200 women who gave birth at Mount Sinai Hospital in Ontario. They looked for premature birth, low birth weight, and small-for-gestational-age markers in women who did and didn’t take acetaminophen.
Women who took the drug more than once a week in the three months before pregnancy had an 82% higher risk of a small baby and a near two-fold risk of a baby with low birth weight. Women who took it less than once a week in the same time period had a 46% higher risk of a small baby.
Researchers stressed that this does not mean that women should cease taking the drug, but that doctors should consider the results before recommending it if there are other risk factors that could cause these conditions.
Why Premature Cord-Cutting Can Be Risky
The World Health Organization recommends that umbilical cords should not be cut or clamped earlier than one minute after birth. Infants should have the chance to clear the lungs of amniotic fluid and transition to breathing oxygen on their own. Premature cord-cutting can result in stress on the baby’s heart and the likelihood of brain hemorrhage, anemia, and iron deficiency.
Because red blood cells carry oxygen to the body’s tissues, infants who suffer from iron deficiency may not grow and develop normally. Iron is especially important during growth spurts so that children can reach normal benchmarks for physical and cognitive growth.
Proving Negligence in Premature Umbilical Cord-Cutting
A birth injury lawyer for premature cord-cutting will conduct a thorough review of the circumstances and activity during your baby’s labor and delivery. He or she may ask for witness statements, test results, and other evidence to find out when your baby’s umbilical cord was cut or clamped.
Proving liability and negligence in a birth injury lawsuit is complex. To pursue compensation for your family, a birth injury lawyer must prove:
- The doctor or medical provider who delivered your baby owed your family a duty of care to use caution and not to cut the cord prematurely as it causes serious health problems
- The medical provider cut the cord too quickly despite knowing the risks to a newborn
- This medical error caused injury to your newborn, and vicarious injury to your family
- You have financial damages because of these injuries
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Babies do not inhale and exhale in the womb. Instead, the baby is floating in amniotic fluid and gets oxygen from the umbilical cord. If the cord is cut prematurely, the infant may become oxygen-deprived. This can result in several birth injuries.
Doctors and medical professionals must carefully time the cutting of the cord to ensure that newborns are able to breathe normally. If your family has suffered from premature cord-cutting negligence, please contact an umbilical cord problems lawyer. An attorney can help your family pursue compensation for financial damages.
Loss of Consortium Damages in Medical Negligence Claims
The family members of a person severely injured at birth can collect damages referred to as a loss of consortium. If, as a direct result of the child’s umbilical cord problem at birth, a family member has been deprived of having an unaltered relationship with their infant, they can be eligible for financial recovery. The effect the medical condition has had on their relationship is what would need to be further discussed with a lawyer and proven to a judge.
How Can an Umbilical Cord Problems Lawyer Help You?
Nothing can prepare new parents for the dangers and lifelong medical conditions that come with umbilical cord problems. New parents can experience a lot of stress during an otherwise joyful time bringing a child into the world.
A lawyer for umbilical cord problems in your area can make the legal process much easier because they know how to maximize your potential compensation by collecting evidence and presenting them to the insurers and legal teams of the hospital.
Hiring a legal representative means that your family gets help:
- Collecting proof of when, why, and how your child became injured
- Filing a claim against responsible parties for the injury with the state civil court system
- Collecting testimonies, witness statements, and medical documents
- Pursuing fair compensation to help your family afford their injury-related expenses
Your attorney can also make it easier to identify and compile the evidence you need to prove medical error or neglect and help you identify and assign liability to the right person. When you consult a lawyer about your baby’s birth injury, you put the power of the legal system behind your claim.
News of Umbilical Cord Problems and Dangers
The outcomes of umbilical cord problems at birth tend to be troublesome and devastating news. Families and diagnosed individuals share their experiences and their achievements to shed light on the severity of the dangers of medical errors in regards to umbilical cords, and the impact it’s made on their life.
Couple Recounts Their Grief After Their Child Was Killed by Their Umbilical Cord
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 strangled 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.
Washington Family Awarded $23.9 Million for Fetal Heart Monitor Mixup
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, according to a Business Wire report.
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. According to KOB4, the lawsuit claimed 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. The plaintiff should receive 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, according to The Argus.
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 according to the Times Leader, a new device is helping obstetricians at one hospital prepare for tricky birth situations.
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 and named Victoria, that can recreate many birthing scenarios, including high-risk ones.
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 to 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.
From Quadriplegia to Amateur Boxing
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 old.
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.
Please Call Birth Injury Lawyers Group for a Free Case Review
Umbilical cord problems lawyers will protect your rights and help your family get the recovery you deserve. If you wait too long, however, you may lose your right to seek compensation. With a free consultation, you can discuss your case with a qualified legal representation to better understand your options for holding the doctor or hospital liable.
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. Please call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, or complete the form on this page, to be connected with a medical malpractice attorney in your area that’s familiar with your state’s laws and practices.