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Benefits and risks of delayed cord clamping

There are many expectant mothers in Texas who are curious about the process called delayed cord clamping. With DCC, the doctor clamps the umbilical cord 25 seconds to five minutes after delivery to allow more blood to travel from the placenta to the newborn. More blood means more iron, which is essential for healthy brain development.

DCC is a practice in accord with the World Health Organization's recommendation that cord clamping never be done earlier than is necessary. However, this recommendation cannot be said to apply to all births. Currently, DCC is practiced mostly on pre-term infants since the extra blood benefits them the most. In fact, the baby's blood volume can be increased by as much as one third. However, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, among other organizations, does not recommend DCC for full-term infants.

There are risks associated with DCC. Infants may develop an excess of bilirubin buildup in a condition known hyperbilirubinemia. This can lead to jaundice. Polycythemia, or an extremely high red blood cell count, is another concern. Babies may also suffer from respiratory distress. On the other hand, immediate cord clamping 10 to 30 seconds after delivery can benefit babies who are suffering from this.

DCC may sometimes become a factor in birth injury cases although the parents of an injured baby will likely want to see an attorney who works in medical malpractice law before pursuing such a case. For a case to be valid, there must be evidence that the doctor or nurse involved was negligent: that is, not living up to an objective standard of medical care. The lawyer might hire third parties to conduct an investigation before striving for a settlement out of court. If a settlement cannot be achieved, plaintiffs may prepare for a trial.

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