Proven Connecticut Umbilical Cord Issues Lawyers for Complications During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, protecting the health and integrity of the umbilical cord is essential to protecting the fetus in the womb. When issues with the umbilical cord occur during pregnancy, the consequences can be significant, and prompt medical intervention will often be necessary.
The umbilical cord itself is fairly simple. It consists of two arteries and one vein that are protected by a substance known as Wharton’s jelly. However, despite its simplicity, the umbilical cord serves an essential purpose as the fetus’s lifeline, and various types of issues can lead to serious complications during pregnancy. If you’ve experienced any complications during pregnancy related to umbilical cord issues, seek immediate help from the knowledgeable Connecticut umbilical cord issues attorneys at Berkowitz Hanna.
Examples of Potential Umbilical Cord Issues during Pregnancy
Umbilical cord issues range from those involving malformation of the umbilical cord itself to issues with the umbilical cord’s positioning in the womb. During pregnancy, the mother’s doctor should monitor for signs of umbilical cord issues and should intervene with appropriate medical treatment as necessary. Some examples of umbilical cord issues that can generally be prevented or remedied with appropriate medical treatment include:
- Funisitis – Chorioamnionitis, also known as an intra-amniotic infection, is a fetal infection that can cause various complications. When it spreads to the umbilical cord, it is referred to as funisitis. Potential complications of funisitis include brain damage (potentially resulting in cerebral palsy (CP) or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)), sepsis, and issues associated with preterm birth.
- Umbilical Cord Compression – Compression of the umbilical cord can disrupt the supply of oxygen to the fetus, potentially resulting in a number of severe (or even life-threatening) complications. Umbilical cord compression can result from wrapping around the fetus, knots, and prolapse of the umbilical cord into the cervix.
- Wrapping around the Fetus (Nuchal Cord) – The average length of an umbilical cord is approximately 55 centimeters. However, the umbilical cord can also grow significantly longer. The longer an umbilical cord grows, the greater the likelihood that it will wrap around the fetus (a condition referred to as a “nuchal cord”), and the greater the risk that it will become compressed as a result.
- Umbilical Cord Knots – In addition to wrapping around the fetus, there is also a risk that the umbilical cord can become knotted during pregnancy. This, too, can cause compression of the arteries and vein in the umbilical cord that supply essential nutrients and oxygen to the fetus.
- Umbilical Cord Prolapse – During birth, the fetus typically enters the birth canal before the umbilical cord. This allows the fetus to move through the birth canal as freely as possible while preserving the fetus’s connection to the placenta. With an umbilical cord prolapse, the cord enters the birth canal either prior to or along with the fetus, increasing the risk of compression and related complications.
- Vasa Previa – Vasa previa occurs when the arteries and vein of the umbilical cord lie across the mother’s cervix. This significantly increases the risk not only of umbilical cord prolapse, but also of the arteries and/or vein rupturing prior to birth.
When Doctors Can (and Should) Prevent Complications from Umbilical Cord Issues
With today’s medical knowledge and technology, most complications from umbilical cord issues can be prevented. From diagnosing risks for umbilical cord issues in the early stages of pregnancy (and prior to pregnancy when possible) to performing ultrasounds and other tests to identify issues that need to be addressed prior to delivery, doctors can (and should) protect against complications from umbilical cord issues in most cases.
Unfortunately, this does not always happen. From rushing patient visits to overlooking potential diagnoses, various types of medical mistakes lead to unnecessary complications from umbilical cord issues – and this happens far too often. When doctors fail to diagnose and treat umbilical cord issues, the consequences can be severe, and they can (and should) be held accountable for malpractice.
Some examples of potential malpractice claims related to umbilical cord issues during pregnancy include:
- Failure to identify risk factors for umbilical cord issues prior to or during pregnancy
- Failure to adequately monitor the mother and/or fetus during pregnancy
- Failure to order necessary tests (or properly interpret test results)
- Failure to intervene to resolve umbilical cord issues before they worsen
- Failure to induce labor or perform an emergency cesarean section (C-section) delivery when necessary
Discuss Your Legal Rights with Connecticut Umbilical Cord Issues Attorneys at Berkowitz Hanna
If your child has experienced complications as the result of an umbilical cord issue during pregnancy, we encourage you to speak with one of our Connecticut umbilical cord issues lawyers about your legal rights. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call or get in touch with us online today.