Practice Areas > Birth Injury > Causes of InjuryIschemia > Umbilical Cord Prolapse 

Umbilical Cord Prolapse

The umbilical cord is a flexible tube -like structure that connects the baby to the mother during pregnancy. The umbilical cord is the baby's lifeline. It carries oxygen and nutrients from the mother to the baby and carries away waste products.

Umbilical cord prolapse occurs when the umbilical cord slips into the birth canal after the membranes have ruptured, but before the baby descends into the birth canal. Umbilical cord prolapse poses a significant danger to the baby. The cord can become trapped against the baby's body during delivery. As the baby passes through the birth canal, the baby puts pressure on the cord which reduces or cuts off the oxygen supply to the baby. A prolapsed umbilical cord may present an emergency situation in which the baby must be delivered immediately or by cesarean section to prevent the cord from being compressed as the baby is delivered.

A common cause of umbilical cord prolapse is premature rupture of the membranes ("PROM") that contain amniotic fluid. An umbilical cord prolapse can be detected by doctors and nurses by monitoring the fetal heart rate. If the umbilical cord prolapses, the baby's heart rate may slow. The doctor or nurse may also see or feel the prolapsed cord during an examination.

When a child has suffered an injury related to prenatal care, labor or delivery, it is understandable for the parents to have questions about the injury, their legal rights and the legal rights of the child.  We welcome the opportunity to talk with you about what has happened to your child and about your legal rights.  Consultations are free – there is no obligation to call and talk with one of our attorneys.  Contact Us if we can help you.

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Williams & Brown L.L.P.

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Waco, Texas 76710
Telephone: 254.741.6200
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