If the umbilical cord is delivered first can this be dangerous for a baby? In the context of the medical condition HIE, any condition that can cause restrictions on blood and oxygen for a baby can be problematic in some situations. For our context, HIE, or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is a reduction in blood and oxygen which can lead to a brain injury.


For today’s article, and supporting video, we will discuss the medical condition umbilical cord prolapse and HIE from a medical legal perspective. Umbilical cord prolapse can be a serious condition and needs to be handled accordingly.


What Is Umbilical Cord Prolapse?


As I mentioned above, when the umbilical cord is delivered before the baby this condition is called umbilical cord prolapse. According to some data, cord prolapse can occur in 1 in every 300 deliveries. The following can lead to a prolapse in some instances:


  • Too much amniotic fluid (Polyhydramnios)
  • Premature rupture of membranes
  • Multiple babies (twins, triplets, etc…)
  • Breech position


The umbilical cord plays an important role in a baby’s development because it supplies a baby with blood, oxygen, and other nutrients. It develops from the placenta and it said to be a baby’s lifeline to mom. Umbilical cord prolapse can be a medical emergency and must be treated as such.


Umbilical Cord Is Delivered First! Can This Be Dangerous?


When the umbilical cord is delivered first the baby runs the risk of having the cord compressed. This can occur for example, if the baby’s head places pressure on the cord as the baby is traveling down the birth canal. For doctors and nurses, in some instances they may see a sudden drop in the fetal heart rate on the electronic fetal heart monitor because of cord compression.


Failure of doctors and nurses to diagnosis and move to treat umbilical cord prolapse can be disastrous for a baby because it can increase the chances of blood and oxygen problem, thus increasing the chance of exposure to HIE.


If your baby has suffered a brain injury at birth and been diagnosed with HIE following an umbilical cord prolapse situation during labor and delivery, and you have questions, pick up the phone and give me a call. I speak with families like yours all the time about these types of injuries and I would be happy to listen to your baby’s story.


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. blgesq.com blgesq Maryland birth injury attorneys