Concept

Umbilical cord prolapse

Summary
Umbilical cord prolapse is when the umbilical cord comes out of the uterus with or before the presenting part of the baby. The concern with cord prolapse is that pressure on the cord from the baby will compromise blood flow to the baby. It usually occurs during labor but can occur anytime after the rupture of membranes. The greatest risk factors are an abnormal position of the baby within the uterus and a premature or small baby. Other risk factors include a multiple pregnancy, more than one previous delivery, and too much amniotic fluid. Whether medical rupture of the amniotic sac is a risk is controversial. The diagnosis should be suspected if there is a sudden decrease in the baby's heart rate during labor. Seeing or feeling the cord confirms the diagnosis. Management focuses on quick delivery, usu
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