The umbilical cord serves as the baby’s lifeline during pregnancy. It supplies blood, oxygen, and nutrients while the baby grows and develops. When the cord gets compressed, the flow of oxygen-rich blood slows down or stops. Cutting off this vital supply can lead to serious consequences if it lasts for more than a few seconds. This could include brain damage or even death.
If your baby suffered injuries related to umbilical cord compression, you may be eligible to pursue a civil case against the doctor or hospital where the birth injury occurred. To learn more, call (800) 222-9529 now. A team member from the Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help with your case and explain your rights.
Causes and Symptoms of Umbilical Cord Compression
Umbilical cord compression is one reason why doctors monitor the baby’s heart rate during labor and delivery. If the baby’s heart rate decelerates (slows down), the baby may be experiencing umbilical cord compression or another serious health concern. This could require an emergency cesarean (c-section) delivery or other action to limit the injury to the baby’s brain.
If your baby experiences signs of umbilical cord compression during birth and the doctor does not act to deliver the baby immediately, this may support a medical malpractice case.
Umbilical cord compression most commonly occurs before birth when:
- The umbilical cord becomes knotted
- The cord wraps around the baby’s neck
During delivery, umbilical cord compression generally occurs because of cord prolapse. Umbilical cord prolapse is a situation when the cord enters the birth canal before the baby and becomes stuck between the baby and the walls of the birth canal.
Problems with the umbilical cord are more common in breech babies delivered vaginally and vaginal delivery of multiples.
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Understanding the Dangers of Umbilical Cord Compressions
When an umbilical cord is compressed for a short time, there may be few, if any, lasting effects. This is why taking immediate action is vital. When the cord compression lasts longer, and the baby goes without vital oxygen and blood for a longer period of time, the risks increase dramatically. Cord compression can cause lifelong injuries, including:
- Brain injury
- Cerebral palsy
- Behavioral concerns
Umbilical cord compression is a common cause of stillbirth, as well.
When a doctor monitors the baby’s heart rate and spots the signs of umbilical cord compression, they can take action to deliver the baby, preventing extensive brain damage and death.
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You May Be Eligible to Recover Compensation Based on Your Child’s Birth Injuries
If your child suffered birth injuries related to a compressed umbilical cord, you may be eligible to recover compensation by holding the doctor or hospital liable. The doctor and medical team who monitored your baby’s health and process during labor and delivery have a duty to watch for signs of umbilical cord compression and other issues, and take action to prevent injuries.
You may have a valid medical malpractice birth injury case if your child sustained brain injuries because of the doctor or staff:
- Failed to monitor the child’s wellbeing
- Failed to check the monitors when there was a problem
- Failed to diagnose the problem as something to be concerned about
- Failed to deliver the child immediately despite there being a problem
Your attorney can help you understand what it takes to prove this type of case. Many states require testimony from a medical expert witness who can help the courts understand the expected standard of care and how your doctor’s failure to provide this standard of care caused your child’s injuries.
They will also likely present evidence to show the nature and severity of your child’s injuries and how they affect them today and in the future. This is a key part of proving the noneconomic damages your child has faced and will face as they grow. In addition, your attorney will document a wide range of economic damages and pursue compensation to cover them. This commonly includes:
- Medical care expenses and related costs
- Ongoing care costs
- Adaptive equipment and other prescribed medical equipment
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to your child’s injuries or treatment
- Pain and suffering damages
- Wrongful death damages, if your baby passed away because of their injuries
Your attorney can help you protect your rights and pursue compensation for your financial losses and your child’s pain and suffering. If you have a strong case, you can likely pursue a payout for both current and future damages. This can be especially important if your child requires ongoing treatment and care related to lifelong impairment.
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A Birth Injury Attorney Will Review Your Case for Free
If you believe your child suffered preventable birth injuries related to umbilical cord compression, you may be eligible to take legal action on their behalf. A birth injury lawyer who handles similar cases in your state is the best place to start. They can help you find out if you can file a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit.
Most birth injury medical malpractice attorneys offer free case reviews. They will discuss your case with you during a complimentary consultation, and help you understand your options for holding the doctor or hospital liable.
It is important to work with an attorney who is familiar with the medical malpractice process in your state, though. Each state has its own laws about proving these cases, navigating the process, and how long you can wait to file a lawsuit.
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Talk to a Birth Injury Medical Malpractice Attorney in Your State
If your child sustained brain injuries or other birth injuries after an umbilical cord compression incident, you may be able to hold the doctor or hospital responsible and pursue compensation. At the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, a member of our team can help you today.
Call (800) 222-9529 to get started. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help you schedule a free consultation with a birth injury lawyer in your state today.