Nuchal-Cord Complication (Umbilical Cord Wrapped Around Baby's Neck) Attorney: Chicago, Illinois
A common complication during pregnancy and labor is the presence of a nuchal cord, which occurs when the umbilical cord wraps fully around the unborn child's neck.
While the mere presence of a nuchal cord is common, restriction or tightening of the cord is cause for concern because it can deprive the child's brain of needed oxygen and nutrients.
Representing Families of Children with Umbilical Cord Issues and Nuchal Cord Complications
Failure to respond properly to fetal distress brought on by an umbilical cord complication can cause severe birth injuries or death. Your family may be entitled to economic and non-economic damages resulting from a nuchal cord birth injury.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has a team of attorneys, nurses and other experts available to represent the families of any children whose injuries are the result of medical malpractice or an act of medical negligence. Contact our attorneys today for a free consultation.
Types of Nuchal Cords
An unborn baby who is carried to full term are more likely to have some form of nuchal cord with as many as one out of three exhibiting a nuchal cord at one point or more during the pregnancy. As the second trimester progresses, the risks to the fetus increase.
In utero, nuchal cords can cause damage to the placenta such as placental abruption. This can deprive the unborn baby of essential nutrients that they need to develop.
In some cases, the umbilical cord unwraps itself while in others it may fully wrap itself around the child multiple times. Nuchal cords fall under two main classifications.
- Type A Nuchal Cord— A type A nuchal cord is a loose umbilical cord that is wrapped around the child's neck but a loose nuchal cord may be easily corrected before or during delivery.
- Type B Nuchal Cord— Type B nuchal cords are more dangerous because they have formed a true knot around the baby's neck and cannot be undone. This can cut off blood flow and cause birth asphyxia. Close monitoring is required to detect fetal distress and an emergency cesarean section may be required by the medical team to save the child's life or avoid serious injury.
Treatment of Nuchal Cord
Nuchal cords are easily identified through an ultrasound, which may be ordered if there is a decrease in fetal activity during the third trimester of the pregnancy. If a nuchal cord is present, the delivering doctor will make efforts to untangle the cord during the delivery in order to prevent harmful cord compression.
If these efforts fail, the cord might be clamped and cut or a cesarean section may be ordered— dependent on the length of labor and difficulty of the delivery.
Failure to resolve a nuchal cord that is showing signs of compression can result in severe injury or brain damage due to lack of oxygen and may even cause the death of the child.
Medical staff should know the risk factors for umbilical cord problems. Based on these factors, they should use a fetal monitor as the baby makes its way through the birth canal past the cervix. They should check for any sign of fetal distress. Anything less would be a breach of the standard of care required for doctors.
It is the duty of the delivery staff to monitor a child with nuchal cord for fetal distress and take prompt action if the compressed cord threatens the child's life.
While it is never the intent of a doctor to harm a child, if birth injuries that forever change the quality of the child's life are the result of medical malpractice, compensation must be provided for the child's future needs.
In addition to nuchal cord, physicians must also monitor for conditions such as umbilical cord prolapse, which can also be dangerous. A prolapsed umbilical cord occurs when the cord moves ahead of the fetus into the birth canal and may cut off blood flow.
Cord prolapse is another birth emergency which may require a cesarean section surgery to deliver the baby.
Lawyers for Nuchal Cord Birth Injury Cases
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents clients throughout all of Illinois whose children have been harmed due to acts of negligence or malpractice during birth.
Our Chicago, IL birth injury attorneys have the years of experience, knowledge that is required to win or settle your case. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about your rights and legal options.
We will review the facts of your case and obtain the necessary medical records to help you file your claim about the quality of medical care that your child received.