Orlando Umbilical Cord Injury Attorneys
Birth Injuries Caused by Undiagnosed or Untreated Umbilical Cord Complications
Pregnancy is a time of great anticipation and preparation. Expectant parents spend months learning about how their baby is growing and developing, anticipating that the culmination of this long process will be a baby safe at home that they are ready to nurture and care for. But, sadly, the excitement of the big day can be overshadowed by the pain and sorrow that is caused by a birth injury due to umbilical cord complications.
The Critical Function of the Umbilical Cord
The umbilical cord is literally the lifeline between mother and baby prior to delivery. The cord connects the baby to the mother’s placenta and provides it with the oxygen and nutrients it needs while removing waste and deoxygenated blood. These intricate processes are performed by two delicate arteries and a single vein. As the delivery date approaches, the mother’s body also supplies the fetus with antibodies through the cord, which create the beginning of the child’s immune system and ward off infections for the first few months of life.
Common Umbilical Cord Complications
It is important for parents to understand the critical function of the umbilical cord so that they can appreciate the need for proper monitoring and quick action if an issue with the umbilical cord is detected during pregnancy or delivery. Some of the more common complications involving the umbilical cord include:
- Prolapse: This condition occurs during delivery when the umbilical cord passes through the cervix before the baby. As the mother’s contractions continue, this places pressure on the umbilical cord, which can cut off the supply of oxygen and blood to the baby. In addition, the cord can become wrapped around the baby’s head or trapped against its body, causing even more compression. This loss of oxygen can result in long-term brain damage, cerebral palsy, or even death.
- Nuchal cord: This term is used to describe when the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around the baby’s neck while in the womb. It is much more likely to occur where there is a longer umbilical cord and an active baby. This condition is generally harmless, but if the cord gets pulled tight, it can compress and deprive the baby of much-needed oxygen and blood flow. The result can be long-term brain damage, cerebral palsy, or death.
- Knots and strictures: Knots and twists in the umbilical cord can be difficult to detect by ultrasound. Most knots are pseudo-knots, and do not pose a danger to the baby. However, true knots can present a grave threat. If the knot gets pulled tight, it can cause fetal death, especially when this occurs prior to the second trimester. If detected, a C-section may be necessary to get the baby out safely.
Umbilical cord complications are not as rare as you might think. According to the Cleveland Clinic, 1 in every 300 births involves umbilical cord prolapse. Further, a reported 10% to 29% of all births involve a nuchal cord.
Medical professionals are trained to monitor the baby throughout pregnancy as well as during delivery in order to spot these issues, and to act quickly when they occur in order to protect the baby from preventable harm. If they fail in these duties, and the baby suffers harm as a result, the medical professionals may be held liable for the resulting damages.
When a Cord Condition Leads to an Injury, Speak to a Lawyer
If you believe that you or a loved one did not receive adequate care and monitoring during pregnancy or delivery and that a preventable umbilical cord complication resulted in the injury or death of a child, you need the assistance of an experienced Orlando medical malpractice attorney.
For over three decades, Faiella & Gulden, P.A., has represented patients, such as birth injury victims, against the huge insurance companies that represent physicians and hospitals. Call (407) 647-6111 today for a free consultation and learn how our family practice can assist your family in receiving just compensation. We will take care of the claim as you begin to heal from this devastating experience.
We require no legal retainer or upfront fees, and you pay nothing unless we prevail. Call us for your free consultation.