There is a long list of the different kinds of umbilical cord birth injuries you can sue for, but not all umbilical cord injuries will support a medical malpractice claim. This type of legal claim requires you to prove that medical negligence caused your child to suffer a preventable injury.
Usually, this is determined by how the doctor and other medical professionals react to an umbilical cord concern. Examples of negligence may include failing to screen for a problem, failing to diagnose an issue, or failing to provide the proper treatment or action to prevent further injuries.
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Umbilical Cord Injuries That May Lead to Birth Injury Malpractice Claims
Some types of umbilical cord birth injuries that could lead to a medical malpractice claim if they are not properly diagnosed and addressed include:
Umbilical cord compression, which occurs when the baby’s umbilical cord is pinched and proper blood flow cannot continue, is exceptionally common. According to the American Pregnancy Association, umbilical cord compression occurs in ten percent of births. However, it usually only lasts a short time and blood flow is restored because the doctor takes action or the baby delivers.
A nuchal cord is when the umbilical cord wraps around the baby’s neck and stops adequate blood flow to their brain. This can also make it impossible for the baby to breathe and cause other serious complications.
A true knot occurs when the umbilical cord knots itself tightly enough to compromise blood flow to the baby. This usually happens when there is too much amniotic fluid in the womb.
Umbilical cord prolapse is when the cord enters the birth canal and delivers before the baby. This typically causes cord compression when the baby moves down the birth canal alongside or just behind the cord.
Vasa previa is a condition characterized by the blood vessels that feed the umbilical cord lying too close to the cervical opening. This condition should be monitored closely and may require a planned Cesarean (C-section) delivery before the mother naturally goes into labor.
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Complications of Umbilical Cord Birth Injuries
Many children who are the victims of medical negligence and suffer from umbilical cord birth injuries also develop other conditions and complications as a result.
These may include:
Seizures are one the most common complications of brain injuries in babies, including those caused by umbilical cord accidents. A person is diagnosed with epilepsy when they have had two or more seizures. In some children, epilepsy is difficult to control and seizures continue throughout their lives. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms that pregnancy and childbirth can lead to epilepsy and suggests following a prenatal care plan to keep both mother and baby healthy.
Cerebral palsy is a motor disability that can prevent a child from moving normally. Cerebral palsy affects every child differently, but it causes many to suffer from spastic limbs, uncontrolled movements, or an inability to move the way other children can.
Vision and Hearing Loss
A lack of adequate blood flow and oxygen to the baby’s brain can cause vision and hearing loss. This may occur in conjunction with other complications, including cerebral palsy or cognitive disabilities.
Learning delays and more significant cognitive disabilities can occur in children who experience hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), the type of brain injury caused by cord compression, cord prolapse, and other types of umbilical cord accidents.
Children with brain damage from an umbilical cord injury may develop behavioral concerns that appear once they reach preschool or school age.
A decrease or complete lack of blood flow to the baby can affect other areas of their body besides their brain, including the heart, kidneys, respiratory system, and more.
Wrongful Death from Umbilical Cord Birth Injuries
Unfortunately, not all babies survive malpractice related to umbilical cord accidents. According to research published by BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, about ten percent of all stillbirths occurred due to umbilical cord accidents. Other studies put this estimate closer to 15 percent.
When a child dies due to medical negligence, parents may be able to pursue damages in a wrongful death action. This type of case allows for the recovery of damages for medical treatment and care, out-of-pocket expenses, burial and funeral costs, and any intangible losses caused by their child’s death.
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Talk to Birth Injury Lawyers Group About Your Child’s Case
If your child suffered one of the different kinds of umbilical cord birth injuries you can sue for, the Birth Injury Lawyers Group is here to help. Our team can talk with you about your child’s injury and prognosis, answer your questions, and evaluate your case to determine your best legal options.
We also work on a contingency basis for families whose child was a victim of medical negligence. In other words, we do not collect any sort of fee unless we win your case.
We can help you fight for the justice your child and your family deserve. Contact us today at (800) 222-9529 to schedule your free consultation.