Umbilical cord compression is a condition with serious health risks. Various injuries can result in pressure being exerted on the umbilical cord, but the most common cause of compression, Texas residents should know, is umbilical cord relapse. This occurs when the umbilical cord slips ahead of the infant before birth and becomes compressed in the birth canal.
When the umbilical cord is compressed, it results in oxygen, blood and nutrient deprivation. If left untreated, it can end in fetal heart abnormalities, brain damage, or even death. The baby may also suffer lacerations, bruising, and swelling if an emergency C-section is performed.
C-sections are usually only performed in emergency situations. In less severe cases, doctors may administer oxygen and fluids to the mother via IV so that they are passed on to the baby. Doctors may administer medications to stop contractions and lay the mother on one side to relieve compression. In many cases, the umbilical cord will become uncompressed on its own accord. The symptoms of umbilical cord compression include a rapid deceleration in heart rate down to less than 100 beats per minute. The mother may also detect it if she feels the baby moving less frequently. Risk factors include premature deliveries, an excess of amniotic fluid and the carrying of twins.
Some birth injuries are caused by negligence. If so, parents of an injured infant may want to consult with an attorney who has experience in these matters. To be successful, it will need to be demonstrated that the health care practitioner or facility failed to exhibit the requisite standard of care, and an attorney could do so through the opinion testimony of one or more medical experts.