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Umbilical Cord Complications

Birth Injury Attorneys in Miami, Florida

An umbilical cord is the lifeline of an unborn child. It provides oxygen and nutrients and carries away waste while the fetus is developing in the mother's womb. When umbilical cord complications occur, the effects can be life-threatening to an unborn child. You should be able to rely on your birthing team to recognize the signs of umbilical cord problems and take steps to limit potential injury to your child. At Freidin Brown, P.A., our attorneys have more than 100 years of experience fighting for the rights of individuals injured by the negligence or malpractice of medical professionals in Florida.

Contact our team at (888) 650-0918 to schedule a FREE consultation.

Recognizing Umbilical Cord Complications

A common sign of an umbilical cord complication is an abnormal fetal heart rate. Your labor and delivery team should be closely monitoring your baby's heart rate during childbirth to catch signs of fetal distress and to take quick action, such as administering oxygen to the mother, turning her to her left side, or ordering an emergency cesarean section to minimize the risk of birth injury caused by umbilical cord complications. Such complications can cause problems for both mother and baby during pregnancy, as well as during labor and delivery.

Common umbilical cord abnormalities include:

  • Cord wrapped around the baby's neck. Called a "nuchal cord," this complication affects almost 25% of newborns. The umbilical cord can become wrapped around a hand or foot as well, but with proper monitoring of the fetus, this typically won't result in serious injury.
  • Single umbilical cord artery. A healthy umbilical cord has 3 arteries; if only a single umbilical cord artery exists, serious birth defects could may affect the heart or brain of your newborn.
  • Umbilical cord prolapse. After your water breaks, the umbilical cord may slip into the birth canal before the baby does. This can put pressure on the cord during delivery and can result in loss of oxygen and nutrients to your baby. If an umbilical cord prolapse is diagnosed soon enough, a timely C-section can limit the chances of stillbirth
  • Vasa previa. Fetal blood vessels cross the cervix and can rupture when a mother's water breaks or the cervix begins to dilate, robbing the fetus of oxygen and nutrients. If undiagnosed during pregnancy, vasa previa can result in stillbirth.
  • Knots in the umbilical cord. Unless the knot is pulled tight, these umbilical cord abnormalities do not typically result in injury. A tightened knot can result in loss of oxygen and changes in fetal heart rate. A timely C-section can limit the chance of injury to a newborn from a knotted cord.
  • Cysts on the umbilical cord. Both "true cysts" and "false cysts" can result in birth defects, including chromosomal abnormalities and kidney or abdominal defects.

With any of these cord abnormalities, early detection and swift action by your obstetrician or delivery team are important in order to avoid umbilical cord injury. Failure to diagnose an umbilical cord issue or to properly monitor your baby for signs of fetal distress can result in brain damage or even stillbirth.

Did an Undiagnosed Umbilical Cord Complication Affect Your Delivery?

At Freidin Brown, P.A., our Miami birth injury lawyers have more than 100 years of experience advocating for the rights of individuals injured by hospital negligence or medical malpractice. Our team can investigate what went wrong during delivery and what signs of fetal distress were overlooked if your newborn was seriously injured by an umbilical cord complication.

Fill out a free case evaluation form or call (888) 650-0918 to schedule a complimentary consultation at our office.

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