The medical community defines a prolapsed umbilical cord as a condition in which the cord descends or falls ahead of the portion of the baby that is being delivered. It is important to understand that the umbilical cord is essentially the baby’s lifeline in that it provides oxygenated blood and nutrients to the baby. When there is an umbilical cord prolapse, the flow of blood and gas that is so vital to the baby’s survival is disrupted.
Causes of a Prolapsed Umbilical Cord
There are many factors that can lead to a prolapsed umbilical cord, including:
- Premature birth
- Delivery of multiple babies (twins, triplets, etc.)
- Breech delivery
- Unusually long umbilical cord
- Artificial rupture of maternal membranes
While some of these risks may not be avoided, the doctor and medical staff should take appropriate action to lower the probability of an umbilical cord prolapse. For example, in many of these cases, a Cesarean section can be ordered to reduce the risk of injury to the baby.
Dangers of a Prolapsed Umbilical Cord
Due to the vital purpose that the umbilical cord serves, when it is prolapsed, the outcome can be devastating. A prolapsed umbilical cord can lead to oxygen depravation, also known as hypoxia. Oxygen depravation has been linked to permanent brain damage, cerebral palsy and even death.
What You Should Do
A prolapsed umbilical cord is considered a medical emergency and if the medical staff didn’t take the appropriate steps to prevent birth trauma, you could have a medical malpractice case.
If your child has suffered a serious birth injury due to medical negligence, you may be able to recover compensation. While this compensation cannot undo the harm that has been done to your baby, it can help cover medical expenses and other damages. To find out your legal options, contact an experienced Kentucky birth injury lawyer at the Law Office of Schachter, Hendy & Johnson at (859) 578-4444 or (888) 606-5297. You can also fill out our online contact form.
We represent clients in Northern Kentucky, including Covington, Boone County, Kenton County and Campbell County. We also handle cases in Louisville, Jefferson County and in areas of Ohio, including Cincinnati and Hamilton County.