Birth Injuries

Was Your Umbilical Cord Knotted?

A baby’s life is dependent on the umbilical cord, which develops from the placenta. The primary function of the umbilical cord is to provide essential nutrients to the baby. If the umbilical cord is unable to deliver blood and oxygen, the baby can suffer a serious injury. 

The umbilical cord can become knotted as the baby moves throughout the mother’s womb, which can lead to a reduced level of blood and oxygen in the baby. When this occurs, the baby can experience fetal hypoxia. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, which is a reduced level of blood and oxygen, leading to a brain injury, can be the result of a knotted umbilical cord. Another injury that can be the result of a brain injury is a cerebral palsy diagnosis.

Prenatal tests can be conducted by doctors to monitor the presence of true knots in the umbilical cord [1] if the mother presents herself with certain types of risk factors. Ultrasounds can be utilized for knotted umbilical cord detection. If the doctors fail to request certain tests to ensure that a true knot is not present, and the baby is a victim of a birth injury because of this failure, a strong argument will be made that the doctor fell below the standard of care, which in turn is the cause of the baby’s injury, especially if the child’s mother has risk factors which should alert the doctor to conduct the test.

[1] National Institutes of Health True Umbilical Cord Knot Leading To Fetal Demise https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4145515/

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