Umbilical cord compression is a term used to describe a medical condition in which the umbilical cord gets flattened because of pressure. This results in serious health risks for the baby. The condition can be easily recognized, and quick treatment is extremely important. In this post, Chicago birth injury lawyer discusses this condition.
Causes of umbilical cord compression
Umbilical cord compression can result from any condition that causes the cord to become compressed and the most common condition is umbilical cord prolapse. This occurs when the baby’s umbilical cord slips ahead right before the delivery. When the umbilical cord slips into the birth canal, it can get compressed and flattened. Some other causes are:
- Uterine contractions during labor and childbirth
- A nuchal cord, which is a condition characterized by the umbilical cord wrapping itself around the baby’s neck
- A knotted umbilical cord
Some risk factors of umbilical cord compression include:
- Too much fluid or Hydramnios
- A premature and/or delivery
- Unusually long umbilical cord
- Carrying twins
Risks associated with umbilical cord compression
Any injury, trauma or change to the umbilical cord can cause serious medical issues. When the cord becomes compressed, blood flow, nutrients, and oxygen can be cut off from the baby and result in brain damage. In severe cases, it can result in fetal death. However, umbilical cord compression can be easily identified and if treated quickly, potential medical issues can be prevented. However, if the oxygen gets cut off, every second is crucial, so it is critical that the condition is diagnosed in a timely manner.
Some dangers associated with this condition include:
- Poor physical development
- Fetal heart abnormalities
- Birth injuries associated with emergency C-sections such as bruising, swelling and fetal lacerations.
Symptoms of umbilical cord compression
Any change in fetal heart rate is the first sign of umbilical cord compression. The heart rate may decorate quickly so it is important that fetal heart rate is closely monitored. In cases, fetal heart rate may decline to less than 100 beats per minute. Also, the mother may be able to tell the difference in movement after umbilical cord compression. The movements may become less frequent.
Treatment for umbilical cord compression
In cases of minor cord compression oxygen and additional fluids via IV are given to the mother in order to provide nutrients and oxygen to the baby. In severe cases, a C-section may be necessary as soon as prolapse is detected. Other options include changing the mother’s position to relieve the compression, or the doctor may slip a finger through the cord and unwrap it. Medications may also be administered to stop contractions.
Prognosis of umbilical cord compression
The prognosis is generally good as long as the doctor detects and treat the condition in time. However, any delay in diagnosis and treatment can cause a lack of oxygen, nutrients, and blood flow to the infant which can lead to brain damage and conditions such as autism and even fetal death.
If your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence, contact a competent Chicago birth injury lawyer to discuss your rights.