What You Should Know about Umbilical Cord Injuries

The birth of a baby is supposed to be an exciting and enjoyable time, but parents-to-be are often met with panic when they find out that there are injuries to the umbilical cord that is attached to their little one. Unfortunately, umbilical cord injuries can have lifelong effects, and failure to detect and treat a problem quickly can result in catastrophic birth injuries.

Today, we wanted to review a few of the more serious umbilical cord injuries, and what you can do if your child is hurt by an act of labor and delivery negligence.

Compression of the umbilical cord

If the umbilical cord is compressed, it will reduce the flow of blood (and therefore oxygen) to the baby. This oxygen deprivation can lead to brain damage, fetal distress, and other long-term problems.

Knotted umbilical cord

Umbilical cord knots can form when the baby is incredibly active inside the womb. A small knot is not necessarily a big deal; in fact, smaller knots may not be actual “knots” at all, and the kinks can work themselves out. However, a true knot can cut off the supply of oxygen to the baby.

Cord torsion

Cord torsion (also known as cord stricture) occurs when the cord coils up on itself, the way old telephone wires or Slinkys do. It is a leading cause of fetal death, and babies who survive may develop the chromosomal condition trisomy 18 or cleft lips.

Nuchal cord

Nuchal cord refers to an umbilical cord that is wrapped around the neck of the baby. It is pretty common – about one in three babies are born with nuchal cord – but it can lead to true knots, which are very serious. Your doctor has to monitor the progression of your labor, and if the nuchal cord poses a threat, he or she should perform a C-section.

When can you make a claim?

While some umbilical cord injuries are unavoidable, others can be prevented. If your baby sustains a birth injury from a preventable condition, you may be able to file a claim for damages. You can make a claim against your obstetrician, nurses, and the hospital where you delivered if they fail to notice, diagnose, or properly treat the umbilical injuries.

Birth injuries are rare, but they have life-long consequences for both the child and the parents. If your baby suffered an irreversible brain injury because of an umbilical cord injury, Bailey & Greer, PLLC is available to help. To schedule a consultation with a birth injury lawyer in Memphis or Jackson, please call 901-680-9777 or complete our contact form.