Nuchal Cord


Nuchal Cords, Fetal Oxygen Deprivation and Birth Injury

What Are Nuchal Cords?

A nuchal cord is a complication that occurs when the umbilical cord wraps around the fetus’ neck. These are common and can occur at any time. In some cases, they do not impact the pregnancy’s outcomes, but in others, they pose a significant risk for lowered blood flow, hypoxia (low oxygen levels), and delivery complications. Nuchal cords can interrupt normal blood, nutrient and oxygen exchange, resulting in the baby sustaining serious injuries. They are often detected via ultrasound with a precision of up to 83-97 percent with color Doppler. Doctors manage nuchal cords by preventing umbilical cord compression during the labor/delivery process or in the weeks leading up to the delivery. In some cases, immediate C-sections are necessary. If they are not performed quickly enough, this can make the effects of hypoxia and ischemia significantly worse. It is paramount that the medical team handling a pregnancy be skilled in handling complications like these. It is medical negligence if doctors do not monitor and treat the mother and baby properly, or do not follow standard practices. This is medical malpractice if the baby is injured.

Where Can I Learn More About Nuchal Cords, HIE and Birth Injury?

If you’re interested in learning more about nuchal cords, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and birth trauma, we encourage you to read through the following pages:

Legal Help for Nuchal Cord Injuries and HIE

Undiagnosed or mismanaged nuchal cords can lead to severe, permanent neonatal injuries. If you believe you or a loved one receieved substandard prenatal, obstetrical or neonatal care, we encourage you to reach out to our birth trauma staff. Our attorneys and nurses are here to answer your legal questions and determine if you have a birth trauma case.

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A nuchal cord is basically an umbilical cord wrapped around a baby’s neck inside the mom. The umbilical cord is basically the baby’s lifeline. It provides oxygen and nutrients to the baby so the baby can live inside the mom while it’s growing. A nuchal cord means that the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck. When that happens in the labor and delivery process, that can cause serious problems because it can get very tight, especially as the baby is coming down the birth canal. In such a situation the baby can suffer from lack of oxygen to the brain—birth asphyxia and HIE [hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy]. So where there’s a nuchal cord in the labor and delivery process and there are abnormalities on the fetal monitor showing the baby’s not getting enough oxygen, the baby must be delivered as quickly as possible by Cesarean section in order to prevent the baby from suffering from lack of oxygen, birth asphyxia, and HIE, all of which can cause brain damage to the baby. So, if you had a nuchal cord in the birthing process or an umbilical cord wrapped around the baby’s neck and your baby suffered an injury as a result, you can go to our website and contact us. We’re happy to talk about that, investigate that for you, and find out what happened.