Claim for the Umbilical Cord Strangulation of a Baby During Birth

Is it possible to claim for the umbilical cord strangulation of a baby during birth? If the problem was diagnosed more quickly and C-Section arranged straightaway, it would have prevented my son suffering from brain damage.

In answer to your question, it is possible to claim for the umbilical cord strangulation of a baby during birth in certain situations, provided that certain criteria are met.

When the umbilical cord moves into a dangerous position, an emergency c-section should be performed to prevent the baby from suffering from oxygen deprivation. In order for this to be diagnosed, the vital signs of both the mother and baby need to be monitored prior to delivery.

If you were in hospital at the time, and you did not receive an appropriate level of care, or if a doctor failed to interpret the signs that your baby was at risk or was in distress, this would be classed as medical negligence and a claim would be possible on these grounds. However, there are other conditions which need to be satisfied in order for a claim for the strangulation of a baby by the umbilical cord to be made.

Compensation for an injury to a baby from the umbilical cord can only be claimed if it can proven – ‘on the balance of probabilities’ – that a doctor should have been able to diagnose that the umbilical cord had become wrapped around your baby’s neck in time to prevent an injury to your baby.

If it is not possible to substantiate a claim with medical evidence that the brain damage suffered by your baby was preventable under the circumstances and that the hospital staff were negligent, it will not be possible to recover compensation for umbilical cord strangulation.

We cannot tell if you will be entitled to claim compensation for strangulation of a baby by the umbilical cord without further information about the sequence of events leading up to the birth, the actions taken by the doctors in hospital, how long it took before umbilical cord strangulation was identified and any delay in c-section being performed.

To find out if a claim can be made you will need to contact a medical negligence solicitor to discuss your case, and to instruct the solicitor to investigate your case. A solicitor will contact the doctor who attended to you when you were admitted to hospital and any other members of the hospital staff who were responsible for caring for you. Their version of events about how your baby was allowed to suffer brain damage during birth will be obtained and along with your account of the birth process it should be possible to establish whether the injuries were preventable, and should have been under the circumstances.

Once the evidence has been collected and collated, and an expert doctor has been consulted to review the case, you will then be informed whether it will be possible for you to claim for the umbilical cord strangulation of a baby during birth. If you are entitled to make a claim compensation for umbilical cord strangulation on behalf of your baby, you will also be advised of the legal procedures and costs associated with making the claim.



This is an Information site only – if you feel you have a potential claim, you should discuss your situation with a solicitor registered with the Law Society of Ireland.