Florida Prolapsed Umbilical Cord Birth Injury Malpractice Attorneys
When the umbilical cord drops into the birth canal before the baby, it creates an obstetric emergency, since the weight of the baby on the cord squishes the cord, cutting off the oxygen and blood supply to the baby. If a cesarean section delivery or measures to relieve the pressure on the cord are not done immediately, the baby may be stillborn or born with brain damage due to oxygen deprivation.
The tragic results of this preventable birth injury are devastating to parents. Questions about what happened during labor and delivery and pain over the loss of their baby or the prospect of seeing their child suffer with brain damage leaves many parents grief-stricken.
The birth injury malpractice attorneys of Paul Knopf Bigger understand the confusion and grief these parents experience. We have helped many Florida parents whose children have been seriously injured during the birth process. If your child has suffered a preventable birth injury due to a prolapsed umbilical cord, our experienced Florida birth injury malpractice attorneys can help you get justice and obtain the substantial compensation you deserve for your child’s pain, suffering and losses.
What Are the Risk Factors for a Prolapsed Umbilical Cord?
Risk factors that should be watched for during pregnancy include:
- A breech presentation. This is where the baby is essentially turned upside down, as its feet or buttocks enter the birth canal first. This is a major cause of prolapsed umbilical cord.
- Premature rupture of membranes
- Preterm labor
- Multiple babies (twins, triplets, or more)
- Excessive amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios)
How is Prolapsed Umbilical Cord Diagnosed?
There are several different ways doctors or other medical professionals should be able to diagnose a prolapsed umbilical cord.
- The mother reports feeling the cord in her vagina.
- The healthcare professional feels the cord when doing a vaginal exam, which should be done on admitting the mother to the hospital at the beginning of labor.
- During labor, the baby’s heart rate decreases. The baby should be on a fetal monitor, which measures the heart rate and oxygen level, during the entire labor and delivery process.
What is the Treatment for a Prolapsed Umbilical Cord?
If the mother is not at the hospital when she feels the cord in her vagina, she should get there immediately. She should call an ambulance if that would be faster than having someone drive her. The important thing is to get there.
- Positioning the mother. While waiting for the ambulance, or traveling in the back seat of a car, the mother should put her head down and her pelvis up. This will decrease the pressure on the cord.
- Repositioning the baby. Depending on the individual case, the doctor or midwife may be able to change the baby’s position and shift it in such a way so that it is not compressing the cord.
- An amnioinfusion. A normal saline solution can be injected into the uterus to alleviate the pressure on the cord.
- An immediate cesarean section. When the mother is in the hospital, an immediate cesarean section should be performed. There should be no more than 30 minutes between diagnosis and delivery of the baby.
If the mother is in the last trimester, and it appears that a vaginal delivery would be faster, then that is the route that should be taken. Time is of the essence. The longer the baby remains unborn, the more likely he or she will not live or will be born with severe brain damage.
How do I Know If My Baby’s Death or Birth Injury Was Due to Medical Malpractice in Treating a Prolapsed Umbilical Cord?
Not all tragic outcomes of a prolapsed umbilical cord are the result of medical malpractice. However, if your doctor or other health care providers were negligent in monitoring the baby during the birth process or if a C-section was inappropriately delayed, you may be able to bring a medical malpractice claim against the negligent health care provider(s).
To prevail with your medical malpractice claim, you must prove:
- Your healthcare provider or providers who were involved with the birth of your baby had a duty to act according to the standard of care deemed appropriate by reasonably prudent medical professionals in the same practice area.
- The healthcare provider or providers breached their duty and the care provided was below the acceptable stand of care (i.e., negligent).
- As a result of the breach, your baby was injured.
- The injury cased actual damages.
Healthcare provider refers to doctors, midwives, nurses, nurse’s aides, technicians, the hospital, and anyone else who was involved with the care and treatment and delivery of your baby during the birthing process. Damages can be economic, as in medical and care expenses, and non-economic, as in compensation for pain and suffering.
What Compensation for Damages Can We Recover for a Prolapsed Umbilical Cord Birth Injury?
When medical malpractice is the cause of your baby’s death or birth injury, under Florida law, you may be entitled to collect compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses. This includes all expenses you ever have due to the injury to your baby. A severe brain injury due to deprivation of oxygen may require 24 hour/7 day a week nursing care for as long as the baby lives.
- Costs of therapy. Depending on the extent of the oxygen deprivation, the baby may need speech therapy to learn to talk, physical therapy to learn to walk, and more.
- Educational costs. Your baby may require a special school, after-school tutoring, or more. Some brain-damaged children have autism, which also requires extra educational expenses.
- Lost earning capacity. If a child is injured so severely at birth that he or she will never be able to be gainfully employed, you may be awarded damages for this loss.
- Pain and suffering. These damages are also available for injured children, as well as parents who suffer from watching their child suffer.
- Lost wages. You are entitled to compensation for wages you lost due to taking time off work to care for your child.
- Wrongful death. If your baby died due to medical negligence, you may collect for all the damages that are available for wrongful death claims.
- Other damages available under Florida law.
Florida Prolapsed Umbilical Cord Birth Injury Attorneys Will Help Will You Prevail with a Medical Malpractice Claim
If your baby suffered from birth injuries or died due to a prolapsed umbilical cord, the experienced birth injury malpractice attorneys at Paul Knopf Bigger have the experience you need on your side to prevail with a medical malpractice claim.
Attorneys throughout the U.S. trust us to handle their clients’ complex medical malpractice claims in Florida. If your child was injured due to medical negligence associated with a prolapsed umbilical cord, you too can trust us to provide the outstanding legal advocacy, personalized service and commitment to justice you deserve.
Please call us at 855.292.2111 or submit the “Free Case Evaluation” form on our website for free legal advice from an experienced medical malpractice attorney you can trust for excellence in the pursuit of justice. One of our experienced, knowledgeable medical malpractice attorneys will listen to what happened and help you decide on your best course of action.
American Pregnancy Association. (2017, Aug.). Umbilical cord prolapse and compression.
Cleveland Clinic. (2021). Umbilical cord prolapse.
WebMD. (2005-2021). What is umbilical cord prolapse?