Types of Umbilical Cord Injuries That Can Occur During Childbirth

Published on Aug 26, 2020 at 11:13 am in Birth Injury.
Types of Umbilical Cord Injuries That Can Occur During Childbirth

Pregnancy and childbirth are beautiful parts of life. But they can also be some of the hardest parts of life. A mother carries her child for nine months and labors for hours and expects her baby to come out happy and healthy. When a medical mistake is made, sometimes the health of the baby is compromised. Umbilical cord injuries are one of the mistakes that can be made during childbirth that affect your child for the rest of their lives.

If your child suffered from an umbilical cord injury, or any other birth injury, then you could use the help of Corban Gunn, Biloxi birth injury lawyer. Your child deserved proper care, but medical negligence kept them from receiving it. Our office can help you get justice for the physical and emotional injuries that you and your child suffered.

Umbilical cords are important for the baby’s growth and health. The tube connects the fetus to its mother so that it can get necessary nutrients. When it is injured, it can seriously endanger a baby’s life. Let’s take a look at the types of umbilical cord injuries that can occur during childbirth and their causes.

Cord Prolapse

When the umbilical cord passes through the cervix and vagina in delivery before the baby, it is called an umbilical cord prolapse. This umbilical cord injury happens one in every 300 births, and is caused by babies being premature or breech, delivering twins or other multiples, excess amniotic fluid, or the umbilical cord being longer than usual.

This can be dangerous if the doctors don’t act quickly because if the fetus traps the cord against the walls of the cervix or it gets pinched in any way, the fetus won’t continue to get oxygen through the delivery process. The lack of oxygen can cause brain damage or even stillbirth for the baby.

Nuchal Cord

A nuchal cord is what it’s called when the umbilical cord wraps fully around the baby’s neck. According to an article published in Maternal Health, this occurs in about 10 to 20% of fetuses. This can happen when a baby moves around the womb and gets wrapped up in their umbilical cord.

Nuchal cords are dangerous for obvious reasons—they could strangle the baby and reduce blood flow during a crucial time if they are too tight around the neck. But fortunately, most nuchal cords do not severely affect babies because most are not wrapped too tightly. However, they can potentially cause anemia and other conditions for the baby.

Cord Knots

Sometimes, umbilical cords can form knots that can compromise the health of the baby. This happens in one out of every 100 pregnancies, and typically isn’t a recurring situation. When an umbilical cord is too long, the fetus is smaller than usual, there is excess amniotic fluid, or there are twins in the same amniotic sac, there is a higher chance at the cord forming a knot.

These aren’t always critical situations—sometimes the knot is loose and doesn’t restrict nutrients, oxygen, and blood from getting to the baby or babies. If doctors detect the baby’s heartbeat is affected, though, then it can be serious. The knots can cause brain damage and the baby is five times more likely to be stillborn.

Cord Stricture

An umbilical cord compression, or cord stricture, occurs when the cord is pinched or compressed, and its diameter is reduced. One way the cord can be compressed is listed above, a prolapse, but it can also be compressed by the baby pinching it in the womb, or by it coiling and pinching itself. This pinching blocks the flow of nutrients and all of the other necessary fluids that the baby needs.

Though this is a rare occurrence, it can easily be fatal for the baby. If the cord is pinched for too long, much like the instances above, the side effects could be devastating. The baby could suffer from brain damage, organ damage, suffocation, or fetal death.

We’ll Handle Your Biloxi Birth Injury Claim with Care

Your doctor should have spotted an issue with your baby’s umbilical cord and monitored it properly. If they didn’t, or if the umbilical cord injury was from medical negligence during childbirth, then your doctor, nurses, or hospital should be held responsible for their negligence that caused harm to you and your baby.

Corban Gunn, Biloxi, MS birth injury lawyer, can help you during this difficult time. We know the compassion and care that your case requires, and we will be sure to gently navigate you through the legal process so you and your baby can get justice. Reach out to us today so we can get started on your claim as soon as possible.



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