Pennsylvania Umbilical Cord Entrapment Attorneys

Umbilical Cord Entrapment

Cherry Injury Law of Pennsylvania would like to make parents aware of the risks of umbilical cord entrapment and the effect it has on babies.

In the latter stages of pregnancy, the growing fetus runs the risk of becoming entangled in its umbilical cord. Although this rarely causes a problem while the fetus is still in utero as it receives its oxygen through the cord and not its mouth and nose, it can pose a dangerous threat during the birthing process.

Here are some other umbilical cord entanglement risks:

  • Pressure during labor
    If the cord becomes too stretched or compressed during active labor, the baby could experience oxygen deprivation.
  • Prolapsed umbilical cord
    In some instances, the umbilical cord precedes the baby into the birth canal, especially if the baby is in a breeched position. This can also result in dangerous cord depression.
  • Knotted cord
    If the cord tangles into a knot, it cuts off the flow of blood and oxygen to the baby entirely, which can result in a stillbirth. This rarely occurs in utero. However, doctors must take care during labor not to accidentally deliver the baby through a loop in the cord.

In order to avoid the risks posed by any type of umbilical cord entrapment, doctors should use an ultrasound or other form of monitoring to check the position of the baby and its umbilical cord as the due date approaches. Once in the delivery room, medical personnel can use a fetal heart monitor to see if there are any signs of distress that may indicate a complication with the umbilical cord. Symptoms usually include a slowing of the fetal heart rate to below 100 beats per minute. If doctors suspect umbilical cord entrapment, they can do the following:

  • Have the mother change position
  • Give her oxygen and fluids
  • Use medication to slow down her contractions
  • Arrange for an emergency Cesarean section

Obstetricians may also be able to reach into the birth canal and unwrap or cut the cord before the mother begins actively pushing the baby out.

A failure to properly identify or treat umbilical cord entrapment can result in such devastating outcomes as neurological and physical deficits that last a lifetime. Mental retardation, cerebral palsy or stillbirths are all possible results that medical personnel should seek to avoid. The Philadelphia-area firm of Cherry Injury Law wants parents to know that there are established medical procedures for monitoring and treating umbilical cord entrapment to prevent harm to babies. Families have legal options should their children suffer oxygen deprivation that was avoidable with proper monitoring and delivery room treatment.

Visit our site dedicated to Philadelphia Birth Injury Law.

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If you have been seriously injured in the state of Pennsylvania by the negligence of another and if you have questions or concerns about your legal rights, please don’t hesitate to call. Our Pennsylvania injury attorneys are available 24 hours a day to speak with you, and we welcome all calls at no charge. Contact us today at 610-816-0366.