Umbilical Cord Problems That Lead to Birth Injuries

The umbilical cord connects the mother to the fetus as it grows and develops in the womb. During the pregnancy period, this cord delivers not only vital nutrients, but also oxygen to the baby. The umbilical cord comprises one vein and two arteries that are surrounded by a protective lawyer. While the vein delivers blood with nutrients and oxygen to the baby, the arteries remove deoxygenated blood and waste from the baby back to the placenta. Once the child is born, the umbilical cord is cut.

During delivery, the umbilical cord may become compressed or damaged. Symptoms of such problems with the cord include an irregular fetal heartbeat. Sometimes, the child may not move or shows decreased movement — both of which should be evaluated and addressed promptly by the medical team. Umbilical cord problems can become dangerous for the child and requires careful monitoring in order to prevent a birth injury from occurring.

Umbilical Cord Compression

One of the most common problems with the umbilical cord is known as “compression,” which stems from pressure partially or completely blocking blood flow through the cord. While infants can survive for a short time when this occurs, if blood flow is not resumed quickly, the baby may suffer serious or catastrophic birth injuries.

This condition is dangerous because babies require nutrients and oxygen to remain healthy during development. Some common symptoms of this issue may include diminished activity from the baby, or an irregular heartbeat — both of which can be detected with fetal heart monitoring. The common causes of umbilical cord compression include:

Nuchal cords: This is when the cord wraps one or more times around the baby’s neck inside the womb. An emergency cesarean section (C-section) may be necessary to deliver the baby quickly if this occurs. Common injuries caused by nuchal cord include birth asphyxiation and brain damage that can cause cerebral palsy.

True knots: This is a situation where the umbilical cord gets twisted like a rope into a knot. This may form simply because of the way a baby moves inside the womb.

Umbilical cord prolapse: A prolapse means that the umbilical cord has moved down the birth canal before or alongside of the baby. If this occurs the baby may suffer birth asphyxia or other serious birth injuries such as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy or HIE.

Umbilical Cord Infections

Infections may spread from the fetal membranes to the umbilical cord, the placenta, the fetus and the amniotic fluid. This type of infection can potentially lead to fetal inflammatory response syndrome or FIRS, resulting in pre-term birth, neonatal sepsis or cerebral palsy. Such infections require immediate action including treatment with antibiotics to prevent serious birth injuries.

Umbilical Cord Issues and Medical Malpractice

Medical professionals are required to follow a certain standard of care to prevent or minimize the chance of umbilical cord complications particularly in women with known risk factors. Doctors should monitor the health of both mother and child and be ready to intervene very quickly if such a situation arises. Failure to take these steps and failure to monitor amounts to medical malpractice.

A birth injury is any type of injury or harm to a baby that occurs during or after the delivery. In such cases, babies can potentially suffer injuries including HIE, cerebral palsy and other types of irreversible brain damage. If your child has suffered a birth injury because of medical negligence (carelessness), you may be able to seek compensation by filing a birth injury lawsuit. Such compensation can help cover medical treatments, expenses related to care, mobility equipment and ongoing therapies.

Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

The experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. One of our clients secured a $2,850,000 verdict in an Erb’s palsy (brachial plexus palsy) case that was reduced by the appeals court to $1,846,000 because the verdict was so large. This was the highest amount upheld by the appellate (appeals) courts for many, many years. In addition we recovered $1,400,000 for a newborn who lost motion in the arm during birth due to doctors applying incorrect force on the baby’s head. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.

We have seen many cases where New York City Health and Hospital Corporation facilities deliver babies who are born with cerebral palsy or brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) stemming from negligence (carelessness), and/or medical malpractice in the labor and delivery etc. of the children.

The following list identifies some of these hospitals (operated by New York City Health and Hospital Corporation):

• Jacobi Hospital aka Bronx Municipal 1400 Pelham Parkway South Bronx, New York 10461 718-918-5000
• Lincoln Hospital 234 East 149th Street Bronx, New York 10451 718-579-5000
• North Central Bronx Hospital 3424 Kossuth Avenue Bronx, New York 10467 718-519-5000
• Coney Island Hospital 2601 Ocean Parkway Brooklyn, New York 11235 718-616-3000
• Kings County Hospital 451 Clarkson Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11203 718-245-3131
• Woodhull Hospital 760 Broadway Brooklyn, New York 11206 718-963-8000
• Bellevue Hospital 462 First Avenue New York, New York 10016 212-562-5555
• Harlem Hospital 506 Lenox Avenue New York, New York 10037 212-939-1000
• Metropolitan Hospital 1901 First Avenue New York, New York 10029 212-423-6262
• Elmhurst Hospital 79-01 Broadway Elmhurst, New York 11373 718-334-4000
• Queens Hospital Center 82-68 164th Street Jamaica, New York 11432 718-883-3000

Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and/or medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:

1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES

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