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Umbilical Cord Prolapse

Birth Injury Lawyers Helping Families in Baltimore

The umbilical cord is the lifeline between a mother and baby during pregnancy. As such, when it becomes damaged or compressed, immediate treatment is essential to making sure the baby does not suffer long-term injury or death. If your baby has suffered an injury or died because of an umbilical cord accident, a seasoned Baltimore medical malpractice attorney can help you understand your options. At Arfaa Law Group, we have represented countless Maryland families after injuries related to pregnancy and childbirth, and have an in-depth understanding of the legal issues you may be facing.

What is Umbilical Cord Prolapse?

A prolapsed umbilical cord develops when the baby’s umbilical cord drops or prolapses through the open cervix into the vagina prior to the presenting part of the baby. Put another way, umbilical cord prolapse takes place when the cord slips out of the uterus into the birth canal before the baby is born. During an umbilical cord prolapse, the umbilical cord is compressed by the fetus’s head or shoulder. Essentially, the weight of the baby presses on the cord, cutting off blood flow and oxygen supply. If not immediately treated, the compressed umbilical cord can lead to short episodes of fetal hypoxia, which involves the baby being deprived of oxygen in the womb and can lead to severe brain damage and, in the worst cases, death.

While this problem occurs in less than 1 percent of pregnancies, when it does happen, it can be extremely dangerous. The most common cause of umbilical cord prolapse is a premature rupture of the membranes that contain the amniotic fluid. Other causes of umbilical prolapse include, but are not limited to:

  • Premature delivery of the baby
  • Low birth weight
  • Abnormal presentation
  • Twins or multiples
  • Excessive amniotic fluid
  • A hyperactive fetus
Holding Negligent Doctors Accountable for Umbilical Cord Injury

The key to treating umbilical cord prolapse is diagnosing it and treating it in a timely manner. Fetal monitoring is the most important way of identifying umbilical cord prolapse. During the birth process, an electronic fetal heart monitor measures the baby’s heart rate and it can be critical to detecting the condition. In some cases, a doctor should be able to discover the prolapse during a pelvic examination. When an umbilical cord is prolapsed, it is vital to administer treatment, which often includes an emergency cesarean delivery.

When a doctor fails to diagnose or treat umbilical cord prolapse, that doctor may be liable for malpractice, and an experienced birth injury lawyer can help you take legal action to hold them accountable. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional causes injury or death to a patient by failing to use the level of care that a reasonably competent medical professional practicing the same specialty of medicine would have used under the same or similar circumstances. For instance, an OBGYN that fails to use an electronic heart monitor and therefore misses a prolapsed umbilical cord could be held liable for the newborn’s resulting injuries. This is because a reasonably competent OBGYN would make sure he or she is monitoring the fetal heart rate, understanding the risks of harm in not doing so.

Obtaining Compensation for Umbilical Cord Injury

When medical malpractice leads to injury, victims are entitled to compensation to address their losses. Maryland law allows victims of malpractice to recover a variety of economic and non-economic damages including medical expenses (past, present and future); lost income and benefits; pain and suffering; disability and compensation for any other losses arising from the medical professional’s negligence. We will do our best to secure compensation for your child’s harm taking into account any therapy or special educational needs that he or she may have.

Baltimore Attorneys Representing Victims Following Birth Injuries

If your child has been hurt due to umbilical cord prolapse or another problem during labor or delivery, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At Arfaa Law Group, our knowledgeable birth injury lawyers will advocate for your rights every step of the way. With years of experience helping families in Baltimore and throughout Maryland, we understand how to hold negligent medical professionals accountable for the harm that they cause. We are here to answer your questions and address your concerns. For a free case evaluation, please call 410-889-1850 or contact us online.