Claim for Umbilical Cord Strangulation at Birth

Can I claim for umbilical cord strangulation at birth for a failure to diagnose the condition in time to prevent my baby suffering brain damage?

It is possible to claim for umbilical cord strangulation at birth if it can be established and proven that an attending obstetrician, nurse or midwife failed to identify the umbilical cord strangulation of a baby in time to prevent brain damage from being sustained. Due to the seriousness of this birth complication it is essential that it is diagnosed promptly so that immediate action can be taken to free the umbilical cord from the baby’s neck before any harm is caused.

The umbilical cord supplies blood and oxygen to a baby, but should it become entangled around the neck the supply of oxygen is likely to be restricted, and this can cause the brain and other internal organs to become starved of oxygen. The lack of oxygen will cause tissue death if it is not immediately addresses resulting in severe internal injuries being sustained. This type of birth complication is outside the control of hospital staff and it cannot be prevented; although if the baby’s vital signs are being monitored, prompt action can be taken to limit the harm to a baby.

If the midwife or attending obstetrician performed pre-delivery health checks such as monitoring your baby’s heartbeat or conducting an ultrasound test, the risk injury from strangulation by the umbilical cord may have been preventable. When birth complications such as this arise, the standard procedure is to order an immediate C-section to unwrap the umbilical cord from the neck and deliver the baby safely. While the umbilical cord strangulation of a baby may not always be preventable, if timely action is taken it is possible to minimise the risk of injury.

A number of questions must be answered before it is possible to confirm whether compensation for umbilical cord strangulation can be claimed, and for this you should enlist the help of a personal injury solicitor with experience of claims for medical negligence. Umbilical cord strangulation claims must be accompanied by proof of negligence, so a solicitor will need to conduct a thorough investigation of the case before the right to claim compensation for umbilical cord strangulation can be established.

Your solicitor will check whether standard hospital procedures were followed, if errors were made which delayed the identification of a medical emergency and if it would have been possible to have prevented your baby from suffering brain damage, or at least limiting the damage that was caused. Your claim for umbilical cord strangulation at birth must then be reviewed and evaluated by an expert obstetrician or midwife to confirm whether the actions taken were insufficient under the circumstances. If this is confirmed by the review, a claim will be possible and you should be able to recover compensation.

Making umbilical cord strangulation claims will not make up for the injuries sustained as a result of the negligence of a medical professional, but that compensation can be recovered to ensure medical treatment can be afforded so that your child can enjoy as normal a life as possible.