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Umbilical Cord Around Baby’s Neck Is Common Cause of Syracuse New York Birth Injury

As Syracuse birth injury lawyers handling many cases where a baby was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around its neck, we are often asked by clients and potential clients whether the umbilical cord harmed their baby. This common occurrence is known as a “nuchal cord” and our answer, usually, is no it did not.

One thing to keep in mind is that an unborn baby does not obtain oxygen through the nose or mouth like adults. In turn, some compression on the baby’s neck will not have the same “strangulation” effect as a noose would on an adult. However, where an umbilical cord is tightly wrapped all the way around a baby’s neck (a “Type A” nuchal cord), sometimes two or three times, or becomes knotted (a “Type B” nuchal cord), it can result in injury to the baby if the function of the cord is compromised. While the umbilical cord is wrapped with a gristle-like protective material called “Wharton’s Jelly,” simply stated, if the cord is compressed or stretched too much, the flow of blood and oxygen to the baby may decrease, leading to hypoxia/ischemia and brain damage which may be marked by low APGAR scores at birth.

A nuchal cord is present in as many as 37% of pregnancies. Most of the time, it resolves the same way it occurred – with fetal movement. As a nuchal cord may be associated with a potentially serious complication known as umbilical cord prolapse, where the umbilical cord drops passes into the cervix and vagina before the baby (increasing the risk of compression when the baby subsequently passes through the birth canal), doctors should not ignore the position of the umbilical cord and may be liable for medical negligence if they do not take appropriate steps to prevent umbilical cord compromise.

To determine whether you have claim for injury, contact a Syracuse obstetrical negligence lawyer at Bottar Law, PLLC, a firm that has been representing the victims of negligence and malpractice since 1983. Our results speak for themselves. Contact us today at (833) 268-8277 or by email at

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