Close monitoring of pregnancy, labor, and delivery is the best way to prevent an umbilical cord birth injury during childbirth. Even in cases where the problem with the umbilical cord is not preventable, knowing there is a risk of injury allows the care team to take action and address the concern as soon as necessary.
Failing to identify and address the umbilical cord problem could indicate medical negligence, especially when other doctors with similar training and experience would have diagnosed the condition through monitoring and taken action to stop further injuries to the baby.
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Monitoring During Pregnancy Gives Early Indications of Issues
When a doctor and care team provide care for a pregnant woman, they must take certain steps to ensure the pregnancy is going as expected. Regular monitoring of the baby’s development and other aspects of gestation is critical.
Between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy, an in-depth ultrasound, sometimes called an anatomy scan, usually is performed. This scan looks closely at the baby’s development, including the placenta and the umbilical cord. The ultrasound technician can identify concerns that could lead to congenital disabilities, injuries, or other problems at this time.
Many umbilical abnormalities have early signs or symptoms that the medical care team should check for and recognize during this ultrasound and future check-ups. They include:
- How the umbilical cord attaches to the baby or placenta
- Vasa previa, when blood vessels from the umbilical cord run across the cervical opening
- Abnormal composition of the umbilical cord
- Masses or cysts in the cord
- Blood clots (thrombosis) in the umbilical cord
- Knotting or coiling of the umbilical cord
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Early Diagnosis and Action Can Prevent Lasting Disabilities
By recognizing a problem early, the doctor may take corrective actions to address the issue and prevent an umbilical cord birth injury during childbirth. Modern medicine offers treatments or effective actions that reduce the risk of complications from many types of umbilical cord defects and accidents. However, this requires diagnosing the problem with the cord.
For example, vasa previa is visible on ultrasounds. To prevent injuries to the baby, a planned cesarean (C-section) delivery is often required before the cervix dilates and the membranes rupture. Diagnosing vasa previa and scheduling a C-section is critical in ensuring these babies do not suffer preventable injuries.
According to Medical Science Monitor, properly monitoring vasa previa significantly reduces the risk of death for the baby. Without a diagnosis and monitoring, only 44 percent of babies survive. When following proper, modern protocols, up to 97 percent survive.
Other conditions may develop during the labor and delivery process and could be medical emergencies. These include nuchal cord and cord prolapse. However, medical professionals should closely monitor the mother and baby during this time; they should also take action immediately if there are risk factors or signs of asphyxiation.
Malpractice Birth Injuries Related to Umbilical Cord Accidents
When doctors and other medical professionals make careless or reckless errors, babies can suffer serious injuries. Errors that can cause or fail to prevent umbilical cord birth injuries include:
- Failure to monitor
- Failure to diagnose
- Failure to treat
Negligent care providers who fail to prevent umbilical cord injuries could be responsible for the baby developing related conditions and complications. These may include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Vision and/or hearing loss
- Behavioral delays
- Cognitive disabilities
- Damage to other organs
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Pursuing Compensation for Your Child’s Umbilical Cord Birth Injury
Your legal team may be able to file a claim and seek a payout to cover your injured child’s treatment and care costs, as well as pain and suffering and other intangible damages.
Some states limit families’ recoveries in medical malpractice cases. Many states restrict the non-economic or total damages recoverable in most medical malpractice claims, including birth injury cases.
Each state also has laws related to how long you have to file a lawsuit. This statute of limitations varies widely, from a year to five years or more. In some cases, there are also special rules for birth injuries or other injuries to children. Your attorney will determine and explain the timeline that applies in your child’s case.
Speak with a Team Member for Free Today About Your Child’s Case
You can speak with the Birth Injury Lawyers Group to learn more about your case today. We can help you understand the strength of your case against the doctor or hospital that failed to prevent your child’s lasting injuries after an umbilical cord injury.
Dial (800) 222-9529 today to talk to a team member for free. We provide case consultations and evaluations, determining your options and explaining your rights. Contact us about your child’s injuries now.