Umbilical Cord Compression
Birth Injury Attorney in Los Angeles
Umbilical cord compression is a type of birth injury that may occur during the delivery of a newborn baby. When the infant is being delivered, the umbilical cord may become stretched or compressed. What is the result? The baby receives less blood, oxygen, and nutrients. This lack of blood and nutrients can decrease the baby’s heartbeat, putting the child in danger. If the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around the baby’s neck and mother’s pelvic bone, delivery may become extended and the doctor may need to assist with forceps, vacuum assistance, or a caesarian section. Compression can lead to injury or even death. If the cord becomes wrapped around the baby’s neck, it will not receive enough oxygen, resulting in cerebral palsy.
Stretching and compression are identified in two ways: a fetal Doppler (a heartbeat monitor for unborn infants) and an ultrasound. If the doctor diagnoses umbilical cord compression during a delivery, appropriate action must be taken immediately or the mother and child will be in danger of serious injury. Doctors must also be aware of umbilical cord prolapse. In this situation, the umbilical cord enters the birth canal before the baby, making umbilical cord compression probable. Minor cases of umbilical cord compression are treated by administering extra oxygen to the infant’s mother, which creates extra blood flow through the umbilical cord to the child.
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Although umbilical cord compression is not uncommon, occurring in 10% of deliveries, it can lead to serious injury or death. In most cases, the decreased blood and oxygen supply leaves the infant with brain damage. This damage may be severe. In one case, a three year old boy had a seizure and died because of permanent brain damage sustained when he was born. If doctors had been more attentive and monitored the child’s heartbeat during his delivery, the umbilical cord compression could have been treated properly, saving his life.
At Bostwick & Peterson, we understand the serious nature of compression related birth injuries, and the importance of identifying them during the delivery. While not all cases of umbilical cord compression threaten the baby’s life, it is a serious concern and can cause serious problems if not diagnosed and treated properly by a medical professional. You can trust that a Los Angeles medical malpractice lawyer from our firm will be devoted to helping you get the money you may be entitled to for your child’s injury.
If you or your baby have suffered because of an umbilical cord compression injury and believe that it could have been prevented by your doctor, contact a Los Angeles birth injury attorney.