Marginal Insertion of Umbilical Cord and Your Right to Compensation

The placenta’s center is where the umbilical cord is meant to insert and attach normally (central cord insertion or normal cord insertion). When the umbilical cord attaches to the placenta on its side rather than in the center of the placental mass, this is known as a marginal umbilical cord insertion. Marginal cord insertions happen in about 9 out of 100 pregnancies.

Although it isn’t usually linked to birth defects, it can occasionally cause pregnancy-related issues, including limited fetal growth or an increased risk of specific ailments like placental abruption or fetal distress during childbirth.

For specific information and advice on any issues throughout pregnancy, it is best to speak with a healthcare professional. Seeking a doctor’s guidance can help avoid a birth injury.

Signs and Symptoms of Marginal Cord Insertion

Diagnosis of Marginal Umbilical Cord Insertion

Most anomalous cord insertions are found in the second trimester of pregnancy, which spans weeks 14 through 27. A healthcare professional may still have trouble determining the exact location of the umbilical cord’s attachment to the placenta.

A healthcare provider may use a Doppler tool during an ultrasound to see how blood flows between the placenta and the fetus. This information may be useful when attempting to locate the placental cord insertion site.

A pregnant woman with marginal cord insertion will not experience any symptoms. It can only be identified through a routine prenatal scan during the pregnancy.

However, some symptoms may arise. These are:

  • Decreased blood flow to the fetus
  • Blood vessel compression
  • Excessive bleeding during birth

Healthcare providers may monitor the pregnancy closely and identify any potential issues early on if marginal cord insertion is suspected or confirmed. Expectant mothers should make all scheduled prenatal visits and screenings to protect their health and the health of their unborn child.

Types of Cord Insertion

There are four types of cord insertion. Two types are abnormal cord insertions or atypical umbilical cord attachments based on the position and extent of the insertion in relation to the placenta’s edge. Two of them are considered normal cord insertions.

  • Marginal Cord Insertions: The umbilical cord attaches to the placenta incorrectly, to the side rather than the center of the placental mass. It is a  condition that affects 8.5% of pregnancies.
  • Velamentous Cord Insertions: The umbilical blood vessels attach to the amniotic sac rather than the placenta during a velamentous cord insertion (VCI). Because of its link to vasa previa, this kind of abnormal placental cord insertion is more harmful, even though it occurs in only 5-2.4% of pregnancies.

Vasa previa, an uncommon issue where fetal blood arteries are trapped within the portion of the amniotic sac right above the cervix, is more likely a result of velamentous insertion. When a mother goes into labor, vasa previa becomes risky.

How Marginal Placental Cord Insertion Develops

The insertion of the marginal cord happens in the early phases of fetal development, more precisely during placenta and umbilical cord creation. Several variables may contribute to its development, even though the precise cause is not established.

These factors are placental development, umbilical cord formation, genetics, and environmental factors.

Marginal cord insertion occurs when the umbilical cord is two centimeters or fewer from the placenta’s edge. Though it’s not in the middle, the umbilical cord is still attached.

Causes of Marginal Cord Insertion

Researchers still don’t know what causes marginal cord insertion. However, some things can make an abnormal umbilical cord attachment more likely. Most marginal cord insertion pregnancies include multiple babies (i.e., twins, triplets).

Some causes of marginal cord insertions are:

  • The mother has a chronic disease, such as diabetes.
  • The mother abused a drug during her pregnancy.
  • The mother is over 35 years old, which is considered an advanced maternal age.
  • It is the first time the mother will give birth.
  • The mother used an IUD before her pregnancy.
  • The mother used artificial reproductive technology to get pregnant.

Possible Consequences of a Marginal Cord Insertion

Abnormal cord insertions can be found in 7.8% of pregnancies. Of this, 1.5% are velamentous, while 6.3% are marginal.

Women who become pregnant at over 35 years of age, with multiple pregnancies, smoke, and have a history of placental abnormalities have an increased chance of developing an abnormal cord insertion.

It is good to note that a marginal cord insertion sometimes corrects itself. However, it is essential to be aware of its possible consequences. These consequences include the following:

  • Preterm birth
  • Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)
  • Low birth weight
  • Fetal distress
  • Low Apgar score
  • Increased risk of a NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) stay
  • Pregnancy loss

In certain situations, cesarean delivery may be advised to save the mother and infant because of the possible hazards of marginal cord insertion, which include excessive bleeding or stillbirth.

Treatment Options for Marginal Cord Insertion

A marginal cord insertion cannot be corrected with any available procedure. Instead, to avoid adverse outcomes, a healthcare professional will continuously monitor umbilical cord attachment and the pregnancy as a whole.

The healthcare practitioner will monitor the infant’s growth, keeping an eye on decreased fetal development, reduced fetal blood flow, apparent intrauterine growth restriction, and other serious complications. A cesarean section might be advised over a vaginal delivery.

A mother can lower her chance of these adverse pregnancy outcomes and congenital disabilities with close observation.

Responsibilities of Doctors in Birth Injuries

Doctors are responsible for managing and looking out for possible issues such as birth injuries, adverse perinatal outcomes, and abnormal development.

Doctors are responsible for the following:

  • Prevention: Whenever possible, doctors should take all essential precautions to avoid birth trauma. Monitoring the health of the mother and the fetus entails detecting and controlling any risk factors or difficulties during pregnancy.
  • Early Detection: This includes detecting anomalies in fetal heart rate or other vital indicators by employing the proper medical interventions, such as fetal monitoring.
  • Timely Intervention: To minimize any potential repercussions, doctors must act quickly if a birth injury is suspected or confirmed. They must also communicate possible problems and treatments to the patient.
  • Follow-Up Care: Following a birth injury, medical professionals should never stop giving the impacted child and their family support and care. This could entail working with other medical specialists, offering treatments or rehabilitative services, and monitoring the child’s growth and development.

Compensation and Marginal Cord Insertions

Compensation is possible if medical complications arise due to a physician’s neglect to address marginal cord insertion promptly.

To avoid any consequences, doctors need to monitor pregnancies closely and treat this issue seriously. They must be able to diagnose marginal cord insertions promptly. They must monitor the placental cord insertion and the baby for risks of slowed fetal development, reduced blood flow in the fetal blood vessels, and decreased fetal movements.

Failure to do so may have detrimental effects on the mother and child. If a patient believes their doctor has not given them enough attention or treatment for marginal cord insertion, they should always get legal counsel.

How a Birth Injury Lawyer Can Help

A birth injury lawyer can help the mother and her affected family seek rightful compensation for any injury, losses, and pain and suffering that they endured due to the negligence of their healthcare provider.

An experienced birth injury lawyer can provide legal advice and guidance. They can perform investigations and represent the client during negotiations and, if necessary, in court.

Contact The Clark Law Office Today

If you believe your family is a victim of your medical provider’s negligence, do not hesitate to contact us. Our lawyers are ready to assist you in claiming your rightful damages.

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