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Injuries to Mothers

Injuries to Mothers

Failures in Treating Prolapsed Umbilical Cords

If you or your baby suffer an avoidable injury as a result of a cord prolapse and appropriate actions were not taken by the midwives and doctors it may be possible to establish medical negligence and pursue a compensation claim.

What is a prolapsed umbilical cord?

The umbilical cord is the structure that connects your unborn child to the placenta in your uterus. The baby’s blood circulates through the umbilical cord to the placenta where waste products are removed and the oxygen and nutrients that the baby needs are added.

During labour the cervix at the neck of the womb gradually opens. If the umbilical cord slips through the partially opened cervix and enters the birth canal so that it is in front of the baby it is said to be an overt prolapse.

A prolapsed cord is an obstetric emergency because there is a risk that the cord will be compressed during labour and delivery and the blood supply to the baby will be cut off.

If you had a prolapsed cord:

  • In most cases an emergency caesarean section would have been required. You should be positioned face down/forward with your knees drawn up under your chest. This position helps to reduce the pressure of the baby’s head on the cord. Decent of the presenting part of the baby may be controlled manually by a skilled midwife of obstetrician.
  • A very experienced obstetrician may deliver your baby vaginally but this is unlikely.

Immediate delivery before the blood supply to the baby is cut off may prevent long term complications.

When is this medical negligence?

The following list outlines some of the situations/omissions in care that might support such a medical negligence claim.

  • During the pregnancy any risk factors associated with cord prolapse were not noted
  • If your baby was lying transversely or obliquely in the uterus and actions to plan a safe delivery were not taken (eg you might have been admitted to hospital at about 37 weeks so that an emergency c-section could be facilitated quickly if needed)
  • If during labour you and/or your baby were not monitored

How a solicitor can help

Our medical negligence team are recognised experts in conducting claims of this nature. With the involvement of specialists such as care and occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, educational and psychological experts, and accommodation experts, we will help you to secure a financial settlement that will provide both financial security and a care package moving forward ensuring that your child’s life-long care needs will be met.

Get In Touch or Call us on 0800 195 8467