Birth Injuries

Diagnosis And Treatment Of An Umbilical Cord Knot

A knotted umbilical cord can be diagnosed by a doctor using ultrasound and doppler [1] technology. By observing the fetal heart rate dropping, fetal tracings can suggest the existence of a knot. Ultimately, the ultrasound is an essential test that can provide confirmation if a knot is present or not. A variety of risk factors should cause the doctor to conduct tests to see if the umbilical cord is in a knot. Although knots generally form in the later stages of pregnancy, a knot can develop at any time.

A knot could have formed in the cord if there is either decreased fetal movement, the presence of a long umbilical cord, or a male baby. If this is the case, an ultrasound must be performed to confirm or rule out a diagnosis. Also, when a mother is carrying more than one baby, the formation of a knotted umbilical cord increases. Doctors must remain aware of the factors associated with knotted umbilical cords, especially when a mother notices that the baby’s movement has decreased. Also due to a knotted umbilical cord, if fetal hypoxia is suspected, a C-Section must be performed. Close monitoring is essential during this process. The chances of a brain injury occurring for your baby can also heighten when a loose knot tightens; this can happen at any moment.

[1] National Institutes of Health Diagnosis of true umbilical cord knot

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