Nuchal Cord Injury Attorney in Honolulu, Hawaii
The wish to become a parent is the pinnacle of many people’s dreams. Anxiety and nerves are common during labor and delivery, especially for first-time mothers. In spite of this, many parents can keep their spirits up during these trying times because of the thrill of having their first experience with their newborn child.
But what happens if, shortly after your baby was born, you discovered that your little one sustained a nuchal cord injury during childbirth? It is beneficial to clearly understand what nuchal cord birth injury is and what actions you can take.
Do not hesitate to call our law firm immediately if you require the services of a reliable nuchal cord injury attorney in Honolulu, Hawaii!
Why do I need a Nuchal Cord Injury Lawyer in Hawaii?
It is absolutely horrifying for expecting parents to learn that their child suffered a nuchal cord injury at birth. In particular, if the birth injury and complications resulted from medical negligence and malpractice. No amount of money can ever make up for the harm caused, but legal action can provide a sense of justice. In addition, it can provide financial security to help pay for medical care and treatment for your child.
For almost 30 years now, SRB Hawaii Law has been assisting birth injury victims and their families in Honolulu and throughout the state of Hawaii. Because of our extensive knowledge of medical law and years of practical experience, we can successfully hold negligent medical professionals accountable for their actions. We take an unparalleled, individualized approach to each birth injury case we manage. You can trust us to:
- Gather evidence regarding the time, reason, and circumstances surrounding your child’s nuchal cord injury
- Make a claim for damages in the state’s civil court system against the parties who are responsible for the injury
- Gather testimony, witness statements, and relevant medical documents
- Consult with medical experts to further solidify your birth injury claim
- Pursue an appropriate compensation claim to assist your family in meeting the costs associated with your injury
- Represent you and your family in all negotiations and legal proceedings
Our credible birth injury lawyer works with nuchal cord injury cases. We can assist you in pursuing justice and receiving the compensation you deserve. Call us today to schedule a free case evaluation!
What is Nuchal Cord?
The baby is connected to its mother through the umbilical cord while still in the womb. A nuchal cord (or “cord coil”) is an umbilical cord complication that occurs when the cord wraps around a baby’s neck.
It can wrap around a baby’s neck in single, double, or multiple loops. It can be wrapped loosely, allowing doctors to slip it over a baby’s head during delivery. It is a common occurrence but potentially life-threatening complication.
Can the Umbilical Cord Strangle the Baby?
It is possible for the umbilical cord to “strangle” a baby by blocking the flow of oxygen to the brain or by compressing the carotid artery. It is also possible for the umbilical cord to become compressed against itself or against the baby’s neck, which reduces the amount of oxygenated blood that flows through the umbilical cord. This can also pose a significant threat to the health of the infant.
What is Umbilical Cord Asphyxia?
The placenta receives deoxygenated blood from the umbilical cord, which carries back oxygenated blood to the baby and nutrient-poor blood from the baby to the placenta. The umbilical cord is responsible for both of these functions. Birth asphyxia can occur when these processes are impeded by a nuchal cord, which can cause the umbilical cord to become compressed or restrict the blood flow in the baby’s neck arteries and veins.
What if the Doctor Doesn’t Unwrap or Cut the Cord in Time?
Brain damage is one of the most severe complications from nuchal cord birth injuries. When the umbilical cord is wrapped tightly around the baby’s neck, it can cause a lack of oxygen to the brain. This, in turn, can lead to other medical issues, such as
- Cerebral palsy
- High fever
- Bluish skin color
- Organ failure
- Abnormalities in the heart
- Low blood pressure
- Meconium aspiration syndrome
- Developmental delays
- Motor disorders
- Intellectual disorders
Bear in mind that under the law, it is the responsibility of the attending physician to ensure that the child is delivered in the safest manner possible. Despite this, there are still cases of medical professionals causing birth injuries.
If you believe medical malpractice caused your child’s nuchal cord injury, seek legal advice immediately with an experienced Hawaii nuchal cord injury attorney. Call our Honolulu law firm today to schedule a consultation.
Risk Factors For a Nuchal Cord
A nuchal cord may be more likely to form when:
- The fetus is very active and shifts position frequently.
- The umbilical cord is significantly prolonged.
- Wharton’s jelly present in the umbilical cord is insufficient.
- Poorly structured umbilical cord
- There will be twins or multiples pregnancy.
- There’s an excessive amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby.
Birth Injuries Caused by Nuchal Cord
The following are examples of complications and birth injuries that could arise as a result of a nuchal cord:
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE): HIE is a newborn brain injury caused by oxygen deprivation and limited blood flow. Some HIE children develop cerebral palsy, and epilepsy.
- Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR): This occurs when the fetal growth rate is less than expected compared to the infant’s growth potential. Abnormally small babies are more likely to suffer brain damage during the birthing process and must be managed with extreme caution.
- Meconium in the amniotic fluid: Meconium (stool) can be dangerous if the baby has their first bowel movement in utero.
- Fetal heart rate abnormalities: These can increase the likelihood of an operation performed during delivery.
- Umbilical artery acidemia
- Neurodevelopmental abnormalities
- Fetal death / prenatal death: Death of an unborn child while still inside their mother’s uterus
Signs and Symptoms of a Nuchal Cord
In most cases, a nuchal cord does not cause any symptoms for the pregnant woman who carries it. If the baby’s oxygenation is affected by the nuchal cord, the baby may begin to show signs of fetal distress, such as an abnormal heart rate on the fetal monitor. These signs may indicate that the baby is in danger.
The presence of a nuchal cord may result in wrongful infant death. Therefore, a doctor must observe a newborn carefully to ensure that the umbilical cord is not wrapped around the neck. And if this does occur and a baby is injured, the physician must take the appropriate measures to treat them. Otherwise, they may be liable for medical malpractice.
If this happens, you should immediately reach out to a qualified birth injury lawyer in Honolulu.
Other Umbilical Cord Complications
To reduce the risk of birth injuries, medical professionals must be aware of the various issues that can arise with the umbilical cord and take the appropriate preventative measures. These are the following:
Umbilical cord compression
Umbilical cord compression prevents oxygenated blood flow. Contractions cause minor, periodic compressions. The baby can suffer oxygen deprivation, malnutrition, or fetal acidosis if the cord is compressed too much.
Umbilical cord knots can cause severe cord compression and birth injuries. Decreased fetal activity after 37 weeks is a sign of a knot. When the knot causes a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain, the heart rate becomes non-reassuring.
Umbilical cord prolapse
Umbilical cord prolapse occurs when the cord slips through the birth canal ahead of or alongside the baby. Cord prolapse can cause cord compression, birth asphyxia, and other birth injuries.
Short umbilical cords
Short cords can stretch and rupture. When the cord is short, fetal movement can cause the placenta to tear from the uterine wall (placental abruption). Placental abruption can cause severe maternal bleeding and reduce baby oxygen.
Umbilical blood vessels connect the baby to the placenta. Vasa previa is a condition in which umbilical vessels migrate into amniotic sac membranes across the birth canal.
Umbilical cord infection
Chorioamnionitis infects fetal membranes. Chorioamnionitis can spread to the umbilical cord, placenta, fetus, and amniotic fluid.
How Do I Know Nuchal Cord Malpractice Caused the Birth Injury?
Even though there is no way to stop a nuchal cord from forming, a medical professional should be able to protect patients from injuries and damage that lasts longer. It is necessary to monitor a pregnant woman and identify any medical issues or concerns.
Examples of medical malpractice may include
- Failure to detect a nuchal cord during a scan or ultrasound
- Insufficient monitoring of the infant’s development and vital signs
- Not considering birth options such as a C-section to prevent birth injuries.
- Failure to monitor the heart rate of the newborn during delivery
- Substandard care and attention during delivery
The best way to determine whether medical negligence caused the birth injury is to seek legal advice from a skillful lawyer in Hawaii who works with birth injuries. They will listen to what happened and look at the evidence you provide them, including witness statements, medical records, and photographs of your baby’s injuries. After careful evaluation, they can determine whether or not malpractice played a role in your baby’s injuries.
How Much Will I Receive From a Nuchal Cord Injury Malpractice Lawsuit?
Nuchal cords are dangerous umbilical cord complications. If you can prove that nuchal cord malpractice did take place, then you may be eligible to receive compensation for damages, including the following:
- Past medical expenses
- Loss of companionship and enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Future medical care
- Loss of earning capacity
A qualified birth injury attorney may not be able to tell you how much your final birth injury claim will be, but they can estimate how much your damages will be. Also, keep in mind that they will make every effort to obtain the highest possible settlement for you so that you do not have to worry about it.
When Should I File Nuchal Cord Malpractice Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations dictates the time frame within which a person must file a lawsuit in the event of a birth injury case. The statute of limitations in Hawaii is complicated because it varies depending on who files the claim on behalf of the child – a parent or legal guardian – or the child themselves directly represented by an attorney.
- Medical malpractice claims if the plaintiff is the child (under 10) – six years from the injury or the wrongful act or when they reach ten years of age, whichever is later
- Medical malpractice claims if the plaintiff is the child (over 10) – six years from the injury or the wrongful act
- Medical malpractice claims if the parents or legal guardian is filing the birth injury lawsuit – 2 years and a maximum of 6 years for discovery
- Wrongful death claims – 2 years
Do not put off filing a birth injury lawsuit if you want to make the responsible medical professionals held accountable for their negligence. Do not risk the potential compensation claims you can get if medical malpractice is proven.
You may be able to strengthen your case and file a legal birth injury claim more quickly if you work with a knowledgeable Hawaii nuchal cord injury attorney.
Call our Seasoned Nuchal Cord Injury Attorney in Honolulu, Hawaii, Now!
The umbilical cord is the baby’s primary source of nutrition and oxygen while they are still developing. During pregnancy, a child’s rich blood supply is preserved thanks to a connection between the child and the mother’s placenta. There is a small but real risk that the umbilical cord will move into a potentially dangerous position and become wrapped around the child’s neck.
If your physician could have taken steps to reduce the risk of umbilical cord strangulation but neglected to do so, they are liable for the resulting harm.
Medical malpractice committed by professionals is one of the most complicated crimes to prove. Victims are often discouraged from bringing legal action against medical professionals because of its complexity. You will need appropriate strong evidence and a well-seasoned birth injury attorney who has handled cases similar to yours in the past and will fight aggressively to ensure that you receive a reasonable settlement on your behalf.
SRB Hawaii Law is just a call away. Reach out to us now!