Zevan and Davidson Law Firm Articles How Umbilical Cord Problems Can Lead to Birth Injury

How Umbilical Cord Problems Can Lead to Birth Injury

By Kevin Davidson  Jan. 26, 2015 2:39p

Umbilical cord problems that are not properly managed can lead to birth injuries and disability.

The umbilical cord is attached to the placenta and provides nutrients and oxygen to the baby in the mother’s womb. An occlusion of the umbilical cord can cause birth injuries and permanent disability. Several problems of the umbilical cord may present during pregnancy and childbirth. Although most of these problems can be managed, some problems are more serious and potentially fatal. Doctors conduct prenatal ultrasounds to diagnose any such problems during pregnancy, and if the condition is such that a Caesarean section is required, then a doctor must make a quick decision and perform the operation in a timely manner.

Length of the Umbilical Cord

Umbilical cords may measure up to 300 cm in length. Some infants who have very short cords may have problems such as intrauterine constraints, fetal movement disorders, and cord abruption or rupture. However, very long cords may cause problems such as knots, thrombi, and fetal entanglement. Unfortunately, there are no techniques available to measure the length of the umbilical cord during pregnancy.

Strictures in the Umbilical Cord

Cords that are straight and cords with a single umbilical artery can pose serious threats. Single umbilical arteries can cause genetic abnormalities and have a mortality rate of 5-20 percent. Another serious problem is that of strictures in the cord and is responsible for 19 percent of fetal deaths. There are no known reasons for this condition. Velamentous insertion is another unavoidable problem wherein the cord may insert in the chorion instead of the placenta.

Umbilical Cord Prolapse

Vasa previa is a condition when the fetal vessels are located in the front part of the fetus and is associated with a low lying placenta. The condition can be diagnosed during pregnancy and Caesarean section is a standard procedure in such cases. In case of true knots which occur in about 1 percent of all pregnancies, if the cord tightens, it can have life -threatening implications. Umbilical cord prolapse is a condition in which the cord appears before the birth of the baby during delivery. In such cases, the doctor may be able to reduce the cord.

If there were problems with the umbilical cord during labor and delivery, then you child may have lifelong problems. If you think the doctor was a causative factor in your child’s injury, you should immediately consult an experienced St. Louis birth injury attorney.

Zevan and Davidson Law Firm, LLC

(314) 588-7200

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