Umbilical cord problems can occur during pregnancy or birth. Responsible doctors understand that cord issues can lead to serious birth injuries or death, so they know how to monitor for problems. Although careful monitoring cannot prevent all cord problems, it can save or improve the lives of many babies by preventing stillbirths or birth injuries.
When your newborn suffers injuries because of a negligent doctor’s actions, a Danbury umbilical cord issues lawyer can help you understand your legal options. The experienced birth injury attorneys at Berkowitz Hanna can work to hold your doctor, midwife, or hospital accountable for their negligence in failing to detect and manage a cord issue.
The umbilical cord acts as a lifeline between the mother and fetus. A normal umbilical cord has one vein and two arteries. This vein brings the fetus oxygen and food from the mother’s bloodstream through the placenta. The umbilical cord’s two arteries remove waste products from the baby by transferring them back through the placenta. Without a properly functioning umbilical cord, a fetus cannot survive during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, doctors can sometimes observe cord abnormalities on an ultrasound scan. Other times, they can learn about potential problems from their patients. For instance, if a fetus suddenly stops moving as frequently during pregnancy, that could indicate that something is wrong with the umbilical cord. Responsible doctors who learn of decreased fetal movement could ask their patient to lie down, drink water or juice, and perform a kick count. If the kick count is not reassuring, they could ask the patient to come in for further monitoring.
During labor, it is often easier for doctors to identify cord problems through fetal monitoring to see how well the baby tolerates the labor process. If a fetal heartbeat monitor indicates that the baby is experiencing an irregular or decelerating heartbeat, there might be a cord issue.
While doctors cannot always prevent birth injuries and stillbirths caused by umbilical cord issues, there are sometimes indications during pregnancy or labor that there is an umbilical cord issue. A doctor that fails to take the necessary steps to diagnose or treat an umbilical cord issue can be held liable for their negligence with the help of a knowledgeable Danbury attorney.
Many different kinds of umbilical cord problems can impact a baby’s health.
The fetus, vaginal walls, or placenta can compress the cord, restricting blood flow through the cord to the baby. Switching positions or giving the mother oxygen can often alleviate this problem.
A nuchal cord happens when a fetus gets the umbilical cord wrapped around their neck. Strangulation can occur if the cord is too tightly wrapped. Doctors can sometimes unwrap a nuchal cord during a vaginal delivery. Other times, they might need to perform an emergency c-section.
Knotted cords can cut off the baby’s supply of oxygen and nutrients.
If the umbilical cord delivers before the baby, the baby might not get enough oxygen during the birth, which could lead to brain injuries.
Vasa previa occurs when the blood vessels from the cord travel under the baby in front of the birth canal. In a vaginal birth, the vessels could rupture and cause blood loss.
If a baby’s umbilical cord is too short, it could break away from the placenta. The mother could suffer a large blood loss causing problems for both the mother and baby.
An experienced Danbury umbilical cord issues attorney understand the various problems that can go wrong with the umbilical cord. They could review what happened during the pregnancy and birth to see if the medical team could and should have acted differently.
The umbilical cord provides a vital function to your baby. A cord problem can turn a healthy pregnancy into a dangerous situation. Doctors and medical staff receive training on how to screen for and manage potential cord issues.
If you believe your baby suffered because of a preventable mistake relating to a cord problem, do not wait to take legal action. Set up a free consultation with a Danbury umbilical cord issues lawyer at Berkowitz Hanna to get started on your case.