Ohio Prolapsed Umbilical Cord Lawyers

Ohio lawyers committed to serving injured mothers and babies during childbirth

Umbilical cord prolapse during childbirth is a serious complication that can lead to birth injury and permanent disability. When the umbilical cord slips through the cervix or vaginal opening before an infant has been successfully delivered, it can become compressed. This compression causes a blockage, preventing adequate oxygenated blood from reaching the infant.

A lack of access to oxygenated blood via the umbilical cord before delivery can be catastrophic. This medical emergency requires prompt and effective management to prevent severe brain damage or death.

Many cases of umbilical cord prolapse are preventable. When mothers receive proper prenatal care and appropriate monitoring during labor, warning signs that a prolapsed umbilical cord could occur should ordinarily be identified and treated according to the professional standard of care. If you experienced a prolapsed cord during labor and your infant suffered harm of any kind as a result, it is essential to consult an attorney whose practice is focused on birth injury cases. If your child’s harm was preventable, your family might be owed considerable compensation.

What Is An Umbilical Cord Prolapse?

Umbilical cord prolapse—UCP—is a rare but serious pregnancy complication that occurs during roughly one percent of pregnancies. A UCP occurs when an umbilical cord slips down or out of the birth canal before an infant is delivered.

Prolapsed Umbilical Cord

This medical emergency can occur due to various factors, so it isn’t a “one size fits all” situation. For example, an umbilical cord can slip if the amniotic sac ruptures before delivery and before the baby essentially covers the cervical opening or if the uterus is abnormally shaped. Prolapse can also happen if the umbilical cord is too short or if there is an excess amount of fluid in the amniotic sac. In some cases, UCP may be caused by a low-lying placenta or uterine scarring from a previous Cesarean section, often called a C-section.

In rarer cases, UCP can be caused by an abnormal fetal presentation in which the baby's head and shoulders enter the birth canal at different times. This turn of events can cause an entanglement between the umbilical cord and the baby's body parts as they travel through the birth canal, leading to a prolapsed cord.

Treatment For UCP

When UCP occurs, immediate medical attention is necessary because this situation puts both mother and baby at risk for significant complications. If left untreated, this condition can obstruct blood flow to the baby, leading to decreased oxygen levels and potential organ damage. UCP can result in fetal death in some cases. While providing immediate medical care to address prolapse won’t guarantee a favorable outcome for mother and baby, a failure to provide this necessary care will almost always result in significantly harmful consequences.

The earlier UCP is diagnosed and treated, the more likely it will be that both mother and infant will remain healthy throughout the birthing process. The primary treatment for UCP involves manually pushing (or repositioning) the umbilical cord back into place so that it does not interfere with blood circulation to and from the baby during labor. If this technique fails, performing an emergency C-section may be necessary to safely deliver the baby without complications associated with UCP. Other treatments may include monitoring fetal heart rate and providing supplemental oxygen during labor. 

Women who have experienced UCP before should let their healthcare provider know, so that extra precautions can be taken to avoid complications in future pregnancies. Women should make sure that they are aware of any risk factors associated with UCP as well, such as having a low-lying placenta or having had a previous C-section. Understanding risk factors helps empower patients to self-advocate when necessary and to notice signs they may be receiving inadequate care. Also, understanding risk factors can help patients and their loved ones ensure their medical team remains vigilant during labor for any signs of UCP. 

Although umbilical cord prolapse is rare, this condition can result in dire consequences for both mother and infant if it is not adequately monitored and managed throughout the later stages of pregnancy (when applicable) and throughout the labor and delivery process. Healthcare providers who fail to properly monitor, manage, and respond to prolapse risks and occurrences may be liable for any harm resulting from that failure.

Avoidable Prolapse - Medical Malpractice 

When this medical emergency is not handled correctly, it can result in severe birth injuries like cerebral palsy and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy—HIE. These conditions often result in lifelong consequences for an affected infant and their family. Unfortunately, these birth injuries are often caused by medical malpractice by healthcare providers and healthcare facilities. When preventable prolapse injuries occur, those responsible should be held accountable for that harm.

In Ohio, families that suspect their child has suffered birth injuries due to medical malpractice may be able to file a lawsuit against the healthcare providers responsible for their care. Even though the law provides families with seemingly ample time to file a lawsuit in the wake of a prolapse-related injury, it is essential to act quickly. You don’t want to wait so long that potentially critical evidence may be compromised.

Additionally, the costs associated with your child's harm can add up quickly. By filing a lawsuit sooner rather than later, you may be able to safeguard the integrity of your family’s finances. If you’re awarded medical malpractice damages, you’ll no longer be forced to shoulder these costs. Your award may include money to cover the costs associated with your child’s medical care for life.

Proving Malpractice

To succeed in a malpractice lawsuit, families must establish that a healthcare provider deviated from accepted standards of care by failing to act as a reasonable doctor would when faced with similar circumstances. If a lawsuit is successful, the family of an injured infant may be eligible for compensation for their child’s past and future medical expenses related to the birth injury, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other losses caused by inadequate care.

It is crucial for Ohio parents who believe their child’s birth injury was (or may have been) caused by medical malpractice associated with umbilical cord prolapse to contact an experienced law firm as soon as possible. An attorney can review medical records and help build a strong case on behalf of the injured family, so they can receive the compensation they deserve. Furthermore, an attorney can ensure that parents understand all their rights when filing a lawsuit and fight aggressively on their behalf throughout every stage of litigation.

Connect With A Compassionate Ohio Birth Injury Attorney For More Information

Contact the skilled Ohio birth injury attorneys at The Eisen Law Firm for assistance if your child has experienced umbilical cord prolapse and you have questions about whether the situation was preventable. Our lawyers are passionate about holding doctors and healthcare providers accountable when negligence causes birth injuries. Contact us today at 216-687-0900 or via our online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation and case review with one of our attorneys. We look forward to speaking with you.