If your child died or sustained a birth injury because doctors and nurses missed a prolapsed umbilical cord or didn’t address it quickly, you should seek legal advice. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your losses. However, you’ll need to work closely with a birth injuries lawyer in Maryland to ensure your rights are protected.
Prolapse occurs when a baby’s umbilical cord drops through the open cervix into the vagina before the baby presents. The cord is often flattened by the fetus’ head or shoulder. This prevents blood and oxygen from reaching the baby’s organs, especially the brain. If the condition isn’t diagnosed immediately and treated within a few minutes, the child can suffer hypoxia, cerebral palsy, long-term disability or perinatal death. Umbilical cord prolapse happens in less than one percent of pregnancies, but it is very dangerous.
Types of Umbilical Cord Prolapse
There are two main types of prolapse. Most cases involve overt umbilical cord prolapse. Overt cord prolapse occurs when the cord descends past the baby’s presenting part and is visible in the vagina. Doctors often elevate the presenting part to prevent it from compressing the cord. Meanwhile, occult prolapse refers to when the cord is either next to the baby’s head or in front of it but doesn’t go beyond it. It gets pinched by the head as it goes into the pelvis. The cord can also be trapped next to another presenting part.
Regardless of how the prolapse occurs, continuous compression can lead to brain damage or death. Early diagnosis is critical. What every parent hopes is that the doctor or nurse recognizes the problem in time for a Caesarean section to be performed. This helps to ensure that the baby survives and doesn’t suffer permanent damage. Far too often, this doesn’t happen. As a result, the doctor may not able to get the baby out safely and the mother would have reason to contact a Maryland birth injuries lawyer.
Identifying the Risk of Prolapse
During the birthing process, the mother is connected to a fetal heart monitor. In most cases of cord prolapse, the baby’s heart will slow down and it will show up on the monitor. The decline in heart rate can be severe. Meanwhile, the obstetrician will be able to see and feel an overt cord collapse quite early in the process. If a pelvic examination is conducted, the medical team should be aware of the problem.
Since some mothers are at greater risk of prolapse, nurses should be able to identify them on admission. Risk factors include breech presentation, prematurity, and excessive amniotic fluid around the fetus. If the delivery is occurring at less than 36 weeks or a vacuum or forceps is used to assist in the delivery, there’s also a higher risk of prolapse.
Not every case of umbilical cord prolapse can be predicted. However, many can, and obstetricians and nurses should be prepared in the event that they have to intervene. If the medical team isn’t prepared for the possibility of prolapse, it’s much more difficult to respond promptly.
Contact the Attorneys at Pinder Plotkin LLC to Discuss Your Birth Injury Case
If a medical professional fell below the accepted standard of care, you have grounds for filing a lawsuit. No parent wants to hear that their child suffered harm that could have been avoided. In addition to the emotional distress of learning that your baby was injured, you could be facing years of medical procedures to correct the problem. This is likely to come at a high cost. You shouldn’t have to foot the bill if a doctor or nurse you trusted didn’t do what was best for you and your baby.
Birth injury lawsuits can be challenging. However, when you hire an experienced birth injuries attorney in Maryland, you’ll have an advocate you can trust. You can focus on your family while the lawyers at Pinder Plotkin LLC seek to get you the compensation you deserve. If your child suffered a serious injury or passed away due to a prolapsed umbilical cord that was missed or diagnosed late, call us today.
We will review your medical records, investigate the matter, and discuss your options with you. We offer a free initial consultation so you don’t have to worry about finding the money to pay us. If you choose to hire us, you won’t have to pay upfront. You only pay when we recover damages on your behalf. Call us today.