A common complication during pregnancy and labor is the presence of a nuchal cord, which occurs when the umbilical cord is wrapped 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.
Failure to respond properly to fetal distress brought on by the tightening of a nuchal cord can cause severe birth injuries or death. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers 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 negligence.
Types of Nuchal Cords
Children who are 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. 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 cord that is loosely wrapped around the child’s neck but may be easily corrected before or during delivery.
- Type B Nuchal Cord— Type B nuchal cords are more dangerous because they have formed a knot and cannot be undone. Close monitoring is required to detect fetal distress and an emergency cesarean section may be required if the child’s life is in danger.
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 brain damage due to asphyxia and may even cause the death of the child.
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.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers represents clients throughout all of Illinois whose children have been harmed due to acts of negligence or malpractice during birth. Our birth injury attorneys have the experience, knowledge and past success 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.