Umbilical Cord Compression

Umbilical cord compression can occur in different ways. The umbilical cord is the lifeline between the mother and the fetus. The fetus receives oxygen and necessary nutrients through the placenta and umbilical cord. The fetus passes carbon dioxide and waste materials back through the cord for disposal via the mother’s body. Cord issues all result in the baby being deprived of oxygen creating a serious emergency situation requiring immediate medical intervention often in the form of an emergency delivery or C-section. Types of umbilical cord issues:

  • Prolapsed cord is when the umbilical cord presents before the fetal head. In this situation the pressure between the fetal head and the bones surrounding the bottom portion of the woman’s pelvis can cut off circulation in the cord.
  • Nuchal cord is when the umbilical cord is wrapped tightly around the fetal neck. The cord may also wrap around other areas (such as the fetal abdomen), but it is only a problem if circulation to the fetus is impaired.
  • Breech presentation is when the baby is presenting feet or butt first for delivery instead of the typical and desired head first presentation. Breech delivery is more difficult and becomes even more risky if the cord is prolapsed.
  • The umbilical cord can become knotted. This is only bad if it impairs circulation to the fetus.
  • Contractions that are too strong, such as those initiated by artificial pitocin could result in compression of the umbilical cord. “Natural” contractions, or those created without the use of pharmaceuticals and are generally not so powerful as to make cord compression a concern.
  • Oligohydramnios is when there is insufficient quantity of amniotic fluid. The amniotic sac when sufficiently hydrated provides a cushioning, protective buoyant environment that the baby and cord are suspended in. Without enough fluid, the cord can become compressed between the fetus and part of the mother’s anatomy.
  • Placenta abruptio is an emergency situation where the placenta detaches from the uterus. The umbilical cord can also become detached from the placenta prematurely.

If you believe an OB/GYN misdiagnosed cord issue complications during pregnancy that resulted in harm or injury to you or a loved one, then you may be eligible for damages. Call the Sweeney Law Firm and let us review the facts to establish whether you have an OB/GYN medical malpractice case. If we decide to take your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless there is a settlement or recovery of funds for you.