Question

What birth injuries can result from umbilical cord problems at an Ohio hospital?

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Answered by: David E. Nager

Located in Euclid, OHNager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A.

Euclid, OH
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Answer

The umbilical cord is the crucial lifeline providing oxygen and nutrients from the mother to the fetus. Without it, the fetus would not survive during gestation. A disruption in this lifeline may lead to serious birth injuries and even death. If the umbilical cord wraps around an infant’s neck, the child may be deprived of vital oxygen. And just a few minutes of oxygen deprivation can lead to severe brain damage in the infant, causing disabilities such as cerebral palsy, impaired vision and psychological challenges.

In some cases, oxygen deprivation occurs when the umbilical cord protrudes or prolapses during labor. This can lead to a dangerous condition in which the umbilical cord wraps tightly around the infant’s body and neck. Prolapses can occur due to:

  • Premature deliveries
  • Breech deliveries
  • Excessive amniotic fluid
  • An uncommonly long umbilical cord

Besides decreased oxygen, an umbilical cord wrapped around an infant’s neck can cause restricted blood flow, heart rate abnormalities and risks in fetal development.

Any type of birth injury to an infant can lead to lifelong consequences for families. Further medical treatment is likely, and so are necessary adjustments for families coping with a child who has physical, mental or psychological disabilities.

Compensation for economic, noneconomic losses

You can likely seek economic and noneconomic losses. For the former: If the child is injured severely enough, he or she may likely require specialized care, and that could include around-the-clock and lifetime medical care at home. In addition, such birth injuries potentially could lead your child to enroll in special education to maximize his or her intellectual capacity. These scenarios can be costly.

In seeking noneconomic damages, you and your family may cite the pain, suffering and mental anguish that you have experienced. Although you can’t put a definitive value on an injured person’s pain and suffering, you can retain an experienced personal injury lawyer to explain, guide and advocate for you.

Medical error, medical malpractice lawsuit

Medical error can be at the root of problems in the delivery room. A mistake by an obstetrician or nurse can lead to life with a permanently disabled child. In such situations, this is when you and your family may consider pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances, you may have a solid case that could lead to a financial settlement.

You may not be able to go back in time to ensure that your child was born without a disability, but you may gain some peace of mind. A seasoned, understanding and compassionate personal injury attorney is essential, and just may provide you with the guidance and understanding you need.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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