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5 Umbilical Cord Accidents Than Can Lead to Birth Injuries

By: Anapol Weiss

The umbilical cord provides oxygen and essential nutrients to a fetus during pregnancy while also carrying away waste products. It is a life-giving connection between the baby and the mother. However, certain umbilical cord accidents can occur during pregnancy, labor, and birth that may endanger the health or life of the infant. If your child suffered from a birth injury in Philadelphia, contact our Philadelphia birth injury lawyers at Anapol Weiss today for a free consultation.

Most of these accidents involve a restriction of the umbilical cord in some way, meaning that the baby is cut off from oxygen or other necessities. Below are five types of umbilical cord accidents that require immediate medical attention.

Umbilical Cord Compression

The umbilical cord can become compressed for a variety of reasons, including those listed below. Compression is dangerous because it leads to a lack of oxygen and blood flow to the baby.

Umbilical Cord Prolapse

An umbilical cord prolapse occurs when the cord drops into the vaginal canal before the baby during delivery. The cord can then become trapped or compressed by the baby’s body. Prolapse usually occurs when the amniotic sac breaks too soon.

However, it can also be caused by a premature baby, multiple births such as twins, excessive amniotic fluid, a breech delivery, or a long umbilical cord. Doctors need to pay special attention to prolapsed cords. Sometimes, a doctor will be able to move the fetus away from the cord. In other cases, the baby may need to be delivered by a cesarean section.

Umbilical Cord Knot

When the baby moves around inside the uterus, a knot can form in the umbilical cord. Usually, the knot remains loose and does not affect the baby. In some cases, however, the knot can tighten and cut off oxygen supply and blood flow. The cord knots most often because it is too long or in the case of identical twin pregnancies (the two cords can knot around each other).

Nuchal Cord

Almost one-third of babies are born with their umbilical cords wrapped around their necks, known as a nuchal cord. In most cases, the baby will be born healthy and normal. Occasionally, the cord can cut off blood flow to the brain and harm the baby. A cesarean section may be necessary in this case.

Cord Torsion

Cord torsion, also known as stricture or overcoiling, is when the umbilical cord twists enough times to coil back on itself, almost like a telephone cord. This twisting can cut off blood supply or oxygen to the baby.

While all of these umbilical cord accidents occur naturally and can be safely taken care of, they can lead to serious birth trauma or fatalities if birth injury malpractice occurs. If it happened during the delivery of your baby, we can help.

Contact Anapol Weiss in Philadelphia to speak with a birth injury attorney if your baby was harmed by the mishandling of an umbilical cord problem and suffered a lack of oxygen at birth.