In today’s birth injury educational article, we are going to discuss a compressed umbilical cord and HIE from a medical legal standpoint. For attorneys who handle birth trauma and birth injury cases, umbilical cord problems can present challenges for babies. Therefore, it is extremely important for doctors to recognize when this issue presents itself.


For some parents who contact us looking for an investigation into what caused their baby’s brain injury, understanding the function of the umbilical cord is something they have a brief understanding of in an HIE medical legal standpoint.




As some writers in the past have stated, the umbilical cord is a baby’s lifeline. In its most basic breakdown, the umbilical cord acts just that way. The cord provides life essential nutrients to the baby. For example, the umbilical cord is responsible for things like blood and oxygen getting to your baby. It also works to rid the baby of waste products from the baby’s metabolism.


Many umbilical cords will be comprised of three vessels. This can be referred to as a three-cord vessel. Included in these three vessels are two arteries and one vein. In some cases, the umbilical cord will include only two cords. Regardless, you should be able see how important the umbilical cord is to a baby.




A baby’s umbilical cord can become compressed for a lot of reasons. Compression can occur as the baby moves in the mother’s womb. The cord can also become compressed during labor and delivery as the baby makes its way through the birth canal. During labor and delivery there can sometimes be a sharp drop in the readings on the electronic fetal heart monitor which reveal that the baby is having problems.


During delivery, a compressed umbilical cord and HIE can go hand in hand in some cases because the compression of the cord can lead to a reduced level of blood and oxygen for the baby. HIE, or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, in its basic break down is when a baby suffers a reduced level of blood and oxygen which leads to a brain injury.


The electronic fetal heart monitor is important in helping doctors and nurses tell how well a baby is tolerating a vaginal delivery. When a baby is no longer tolerating the delivery, it can be said that the baby is in fetal distress. Profusion problems can be a nightmare for a baby, especially if the problem goes on too long. Eventually, the problems of a compressed umbilical cord will overcome any fetal reserves that a baby has. In other words, if conservative treatments are no longer working, doctor must move to a timely emergency C-section when warranted. Serious problems from a medical legal standpoint can occur when doctors fail to diagnose fetal distress, thereby failing to properly treat the condition.




To speak with me further regarding what may have happened during your baby’s delivery just pick up the phone and call me. I talk with families all the time about birth injury issues. These issues range from what we talked about in above regarding HIE, but also cerebral palsy and other birth trauma issues.


You can reach me at 301-850-4832.


Marcus B. Boston, Esq.

Boston Law Group, LLC

2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700

Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815


1-833-4 BABY HELP

Marcus Boston is a Maryland medical malpractice attorney who helps people navigate the Maryland childbirth injury and medical malpractice process to get money for their injuries caused by the carelessness of doctors and hospitals. BLG handles cases in Prince George’s County, Baltimore City, Montgomery County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, and all other Maryland Counties.