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Understanding Umbilical Cord Injuries and Medical Malpractice

Understanding Umbilical Cord Injuries and Medical Malpractice

Birth injuries are extremely serious, especially when they could have been prevented. As any parent can attest to, you rely on the experience and knowledge of doctors and nursing staff to ensure your child is delivered without issue. When a trusted medical staff member acts negligently, resulting in injury – or worse – to your newborn, something must be done. There are many different types of birth injuries, from spinal cord injuries leaving your child paralyzed to umbilical cord accidents. For today’s purposes, we are going to focus on umbilical cord injuries. However, if your child has been injured at the hands of a doctor or nurse and you believe you have a medical malpractice case on your hands, contact a birth injury lawyer from Atkins & Markoff immediately. We understand how devastating these type of accidents can be and will do everything we can to ensure justice is served. While we may not be able to undo the harm caused to you and your family, we will work on your behalf to get compensation for the financial and emotional damages you sustained.

Why Umbilical Cord Complications Are Serious

The umbilical cord serves as the lifeline between mother and child, providing essential nutrients and oxygen to the fetus throughout the nine months in utero. In the event the umbilical cord becomes compromised, it may disrupt the blood flow and cut off the baby’s oxygen supply, which can lead to very serious birth injuries, including cerebral palsy. It is not unheard of for umbilical cord problems to arise during labor and delivery, however, if these issues are not properly addressed, the end result could be catastrophic. Many do not realize this, but umbilical cord complications arise all too often. In some serious cases when a doctor or nurse does not take the proper steps to address the problem, the child may not survive. In fact, a delay in action or failure to act may be considered medical negligence or malpractice. Some of the most common types of umbilical cord accidents may involve the following:

  • A knotted or compressed cord, which can lead to serious birth injuries unless a prompt C-section is performed
  • A ruptured blood vessel in the cord – also known as vasa previa – which can lead to fetal oxygen deprivation
  • A prolapsed cord, which is a complication that will require a C-section in order to prevent loss of oxygen, brain damage, and potential stillbirth
  • Nuchal cord, which is the term for when the cord wraps itself around the baby’s neck, hand, or foot
  • Umbilical cord cysts, which can lead to kidney, abdominal, and chromosomal defects
  • Single umbilical artery, which is a condition that can cause damage to the heart, brain, and other vital aspects of newborn babies

As mentioned above, many umbilical cord problems can be prevented if the obstetrical staff and labor team properly monitor and diagnose any issues that arise. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Vigilant monitoring for signs of fetal distress is absolutely imperative to detecting umbilical cord problems during the labor process. If your child sustained a birth injury because of the negligence of the doctor or nursing staff, contact Atkins & Markoff right away. We have handled a wide range of Oklahoma medical malpractice cases and are prepared to do the same for you.