During your pregnancy, the umbilical cord serves as a lifeline, providing your baby with vital nutrients and oxygen while deducting waste. Unfortunately, there are some umbilical cord complications that can happen during pregnancy, labor, and delivery that could jeopardize your baby’s health or life.
Umbilical cord rupture can be associated with normal or adverse perinatal outcomes when this occurs, leading to birth injury or even fatality. If your child suffered during this traumatic occurrence, you should know how it can occur, what risks are associated with an umbilical cord break and what medical and legal options are available. Keep reading to find out.
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How Common Are Umbilical Cord Complications?
Despite any legitimate worries about an umbilical cord accident, they are actually fairly uncommon. When pressure on an umbilical cord happens, the veins and arteries are generally surrounded and cushioned with a protective substance that reduces the risk of an umbilical cord breaking during pregnancy or labor.
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What Are the Warning Signs that My Baby Will Be Born with a Broken Umbilical Cord?
You shouldn’t hold yourself responsible if issues with the umbilical cord develop because they are unpredictable and a rare occurrence. However, there are traits that indicate an umbilical cord rupture is more likely to happen. Those characteristics include:
- Your unborn baby is jerking, hiccupping, or showing signs of hyperactivity frequently throughout the day
- Your doctor has reported that the umbilical cord looks abnormal in appearance
- You have pre-existing conditions such as placenta previa
- You’ve conceived through in vitro fertilization and are expecting more than one child
These conditions can be discovered through routine prenatal care and may require further testing or an ultrasound to determine any abnormalities. Hospitalization usually occurs to monitor the baby’s heart rate and explore possible treatment options.
What Causes an Umbilical Cord to Break?
An umbilical cord can be punctured, crushed, or destroyed, significantly compromising the oxygen supply of the fetus. The incidents that cause umbilical vessel trauma to happen can be a combination of the following:
- If the fetus is in breech position foot-first, it may twist the cord in an unnatural way
- Vasa Previa condition causes the umbilical cord to position itself in a way that it can become compressed so much that it breaks
- If the cord is unusually long, it may become entangled and knot
- Lack of amniotic fluid may cause the umbilical cord to harshly press against the wall of the uterus and the fetus
- Births in which multiple children crowd the uterus can put additional stress on the cord
Since this occurrence can not be prevented, expecting parents have to rely on the thorough advice of medical experts and symptoms during labor in order to identify if umbilical cord complications like a break are happening.
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What Are the Effects of a Broken Umbilical Cord?
When discussing what occurs if an umbilical cord breaks during birth, it’s vital to keep in mind that this kind of issue is typically not seen until delivery, at which point the doctors’ response time will have the biggest impact on the delivery’s outcome.
If the umbilical cord is broken or impaired, your baby will show signs of distress. If birth injuries occur, the baby may experience:
- Behavior problems
- Brain injury and related bodily issues like cerebral palsy
- Defects in the fetal heart
- Inadequate physical development
Early detection and swift treatment usually allow the baby to have a successful delivery without any lasting effects. However, if you feel that your doctor was negligent and did not apply adequate treatment during your pregnancy to prevent harm, find a birth injury lawyer near you to see if you qualify for a lawsuit.
What Are the Treatment Options for Umbilical Cord Complications?
There are various treatment options available after experiencing an umbilical cord rupture emergency during labor. The available course of action taken will depend on the extent of the injury but may consist of:
- Receiving additional oxygen to treat the disruption of oxygen flowing to the baby
- Altering the mother’s position to relieve pressure or stress off of the cord if it has not broken yet
- Providing IV hydration to the baby
- Delivering the baby through cesarean section
Are There Legal Options Available for Broken Umbilical Cord Injuries?
Because there are steps that medical professionals can take to ensure a healthy delivery, if you and your baby have suffered from umbilical cord complications, you may be eligible for a settlement. Each case is different in detail but generally, you can recoup damages for:
- Loss of consortium
- Medical-related expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral costs in the event of wrongful death
Experiencing your unborn child enduring trauma is heartbreaking. It is important to find a medical negligence lawyer that is capable and dedicated to holding the relevant parties liable if wrongful acts were committed.
How to Prove Negligence in an Umbilical Cord Injury Case
Your lawyer must demonstrate that you were the victim of medical misconduct for there to be a birth injury lawsuit.
There must be proof that you were under the immediate supervision of a doctor or hospital and that they did not offer the required level of care. You must also show that you or your baby suffered an injury, that expenses were incurred due to this, and that harm was preventable.
How Much Does a Birth Injury Lawyer Cost for Umbilical Cord Issues?
In general, most attorneys handle birth injury lawsuits on a contingency basis rather than charging upfront costs. Birth injury lawyers will file your claim, gather proof, support it, and fight to get your family financial recompense. Compensation from birth injury lawsuits can be used to cover medical expenses, surgery, therapy, adaptive equipment, mobility aids, and more.
Anyone who has experienced the aftermath of an umbilical cord breaking during birth deserves justice and compensation if negligent behavior was apparent. Don’t be discouraged from seeking an umbilical cord injury attorney because of expenses. More often than not, you will only pay attorney fees if they are able to win your case.