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A recent study published in the National Institutes of Medicine (NIM) suggest that doctors should begin to focus on screening for umbilical cord accidents, as well as managing umbilical cord accidents prenatally and delivering babies in fetal distress caused by cord complications.

birth injury lawsuit

The Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network found that out of 512 stillbirths, 10 percent were due to umbilical cord accidents.

In addition to stillbirths, umbilical cord accidents can lead to other serious birth injuries, including a lack of oxygen which can result in brain damage to the baby.

Umbilical cord accidents can occur when:

  • The cord becomes knotted or compressed
  • The cord entangles around the babies neck/body
  • A blood vessel ruptures in the cord
  • The cord prolapses

When umbilical cord complications occur, the doctor must act quickly to prevent death or serious birth injuries.

A lack of amniotic fluid may increase the risk of an umbilical cord accident. Amniotic fluid levels are often monitored during standard prenatal care.

The addition of umbilical cord accident screening to the prenatal care may prevent thousands of stillbirths worldwide, according to NIM.  The author suggests that in the event an umbilical cord accident is detected, the mother should be hospitalized and evaluated with ultrasound and fetal heart rate monitoring for at least 24 hours.

An early delivery may increase the baby’s chance of survival if the fetus is past the age of viability.

When birth injuries or a stillbirth occurs because a doctor failed to respond to umbilical cord complications, parents may be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

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