Prolapsed umbilical cord is a problem that occurs before or at the time of delivery of the baby. The prolapse is marked by the umbilical cord dropping, or prolapsing, through the cervix into the birth canal before the baby. Umbilical cord prolapse takes place in about one in every 300 births.
The condition is most commonly caused by a premature fracture of the membranes containing the amniotic fluid. Other possible causes are:
Early delivery of the baby.
Delivering twins, triplets, etc.
An enormous amount of amniotic fluid.
Breech delivery, in which the baby exits the birth canal feet first.
An umbilical cord that is more lengthy than usual.
A prolapsed umbilical cord can be very dangerous for the fetus. At the time of delivery, the fetus can place stress on the cord, which can cause the fetus to lose oxygen, and could lead to a stillbirth. There are many ways in which a physician can detect a prolapsed umbilical cord. The physician should use a fetal heart rate monitor to gauge the baby’s heart rate at the time of delivery. In the event there is a prolapsed umbilical cord, the baby could have a condition known as bradycardia, which is marked by a heart rate of fewer than 120 beats per minute.
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Doctors Should Recognize Signs of a Prolapsed Umbilical Cord
Due to the risk that the fetus may not receive sufficient oxygen, a prolapsed umbilical cord must be addressed right away. If a physician discovers a prolapsed cord, the physician can position the fetus away from the cord in an effort to diminish the risk of oxygen loss.
There are instances where the baby will need to be delivered right away by cesarean section. If the prolapsed umbilical cord can be resolved promptly, it is possible that no permanent damage will result. However, if there is a delay, it is more likely that the condition will cause the baby to suffer brain damage or death.
A physician could be held liable for injury to a newborn if the physician fails to act quickly when there is a prolapsed umbilical cord. Failure to conform to a reasonable standard of care may result in brain damage to a newborn, or could even prove fatal. If you think your doctor was negligent in addressing the condition of prolapsed umbilical cord, call the birth injury attorneys at Chalik & Chalik.
If your baby suffered a prolapsed umbilical cord during delivery, call the attorneys at Chalik & Chalik. They can lead you in your birth injury case, and work toward securing financial compensation for you if medical care personnel are found liable.
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