Attorney Jeffrey Killino is a reputable birth-injury attorney with extensive knowledge of and experience with birth-trauma cases, including those related to umbilical-cord strangulation. He and his outstanding legal team have the resources and the background to handle multiple types of birth-injury cases and will do their utmost to see that you are fully compensated for the birth injuries your child has sustained through medical malpractice.
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The risk of umbilical-cord strangulation, or the wrapping of the umbilical cord around the baby’s neck, is present in any pregnancy. Many medical-malpractice lawsuits stem from claims for birth injuries involving umbilical-cord strangulation. If your infant suffered injury or death as a result of this complication, contact birth injury attorney Jeffrey Killino at 877-875-2927 for more information about your legal options.
The umbilical cord is the connecting cord from the developing embryo or fetus to the placenta. The umbilical vein supplies the fetus with nutrient-rich blood. When an umbilical cord gets wrapped around the neck of a fetus, a condition called “nuchal cord” occurs, and the baby can die. Statistics show that approximately six in every 1,000 babies born every year in the United States suffer birth injuries and that about 25 percent of babies are born with their umbilical cords wrapped around their necks.
Umbilical-cord strangulation, or nuchal cord, occurs frequently during natural births. Injuries that may occur from umbilical-cord strangulation that is not quickly recognized and dealt with include brain and organ damage or death.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued recommendations for remedying nuchal cord. In many cases, a physician may be able to unwind the cord from around the fetus’s neck, though an emergency c-section may be necessary to prevent serious injury or death if the attending physician is unable to unwind the cord during a vaginal childbirth. Clamping and severance of the cord may also be required to treat this condition.
If proper medical procedures are followed, the risk of umbilical-cord strangulation can be greatly reduced. Umbilical-cord issues can often be detected through ultrasound, which may alert doctors to possible complications before delivery commences.
Legal Liability for Umbilical-cord Strangulation Injuries
Because umbilical cords so commonly and naturally wind around a fetus’s neck, the dangers of umbilical-cord strangulation must generally be dealt with through monitoring during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, and quick action once a problem is detected.
Negligence of doctors and other medical personnel may contribute to injuries or deaths caused by umbilical-cord strangulation that could have been prevented through the exercise of reasonable care.
Breach of Standard of Care of Obstetrician during Pregnancy
Every obstetrician has been schooled in the risks and regular occurrence of nuchal cord, or the wrapping of the umbilical cord around a fetus’s neck. Regular monitoring of a fetus during a woman’s pregnancy through the use of ultrasound techniques and other tests is required to meet the standard of care owed by an obstetrician to his or her patient.
Failure to recognize the lack of movement of a fetus (by, for example, questioning the patient during regular checkups about the pattern of her fetus’s activity) may also result in a failure to timely remedy the strangulation of a fetus by the umbilical cord. If a physician’s inadequate monitoring of the mother and fetus during checkups is found to be beneath the standard of care required of a physician of ordinary prudence in the same of similar circumstances, such inadequate treatment may be found to be a cause of the fetus’s injury or death resulting from undetected nuchal cord.
Breach of Standard of Care during Labor and Delivery
The vital signs and movement of a fetus must also be closely monitored during the labor and delivery stages. The failure to recognize a lack of oxygen to the fetus, for example, may indicate nuchal cord and require immediate intervention to save the life of the fetus. In some cases, if labor has progressed far enough to enable an obstetrician to manually untangle the cord, such action may be the remedy indicated under the circumstances.
If the labor has not progressed far enough to allow for this remedy, however, a Caesarian section may be indicated. If an emergency C-section is not performed when so indicated, the failure to order a C-section or the failure to do so in a timely manner may be found to constitute actionable negligence by the obstetrician whose failure to order or delayed order of C-section delivery resulted in a strangulation injury to the fetus.
Liability of Hospital for Umbilical-cord Strangulation Injuries
In addition to the liability that may be imposed upon medical personnel whose negligence is found to have been a cause of a fetus’s or infant’s umbilical-cord strangulation injury, the hospital in which the infant is delivered may also be held liable. If, for example, the hospital had not put into place adequate and up-to-standard procedures for responding to and remedying an umbilical-cord strangulation emergency, the hospital may be found directly liable for injuries sustained by a fetus or infant as a result.
The hospital may also be found indirectly, or vicariously, liable for such injuries. If the hospital was an employer of the medical professional or professionals whose negligence is determined to have been a cause of an infant’s umbilical-cord strangulation injury, the hospital may be held indirectly liable for the damages suffered by the infant as a result of the direct negligence of the hospital’s employee or employees.
If your child sustained an umbilical-cord strangulation injury during your pregnancy or during childbirth, call birth-injury and umbilical-cord strangulation attorney Jeffrey Killino at 877-875-2927 for experienced and knowledgeable assistance with your case.