Newton parents might not think about the various things that can go wrong when they are expecting a child, but it is unavoidable that birth injuries happen for one reason or another. In some instances, it is due to a negligent doctor. It is important to understand the potential dangers during the pregnancy and delivery process. One problem that might arise and cause damage is umbilical cord prolapse.

The fetus is linked to the mother via the umbilical cord. It is what provides nutrition to the fetus and keeps the baby healthy. Umbilical cord prolapse happens if the umbilical cord drops into the mother’s vagina before the baby does and goes through the open cervix. When the baby is being delivered, the umbilical cord might become trapped against the newborn. Out of every 300 babies born, an estimated one will be afflicted with this issue.

There are many causes of umbilical cord prolapse. They include a premature birth, multiple birth, an excess of amniotic fluid, the baby being born feet first and a longer than normal umbilical cord. If there is an umbilical cord prolapse, the fetus’s life could be in danger with a worst case scenario being a stillbirth. The baby could also suffer other birth injuries as a result. An umbilical cord prolapse can be diagnosed if the doctor checks the fetus’s heart rate and finds an abnormality. It can also be found by a pelvic exam of the mother.

If umbilical cord prolapse happens, it must be dealt with immediately. Moving the fetus away from the cord might lower the danger of a loss of oxygen. Sometimes, the baby will have to be delivered via Cesarean section. While there are natural reasons for this to happen, if the doctor misses the signs of diagnosing it or makes an error that exacerbates the prolapse when it could have been treated, there might be the basis for a legal filing. Discussing the matter with a legal professional can provide guidance to moving forward.

Source: Cleveland Clinic, “Umbilical Cord Prolapse,” accessed on June 7, 2015