00:00 / 00:00
Prolapsed Umbilical Cord
Tao Wang, G3T2P0A0L2 at 39 weeks of gestation, is a 36-year-old female client who is admitted to the labor and delivery unit after she started having contractions every 5 minutes, each lasting 60 seconds.
Ms. Wang’s obstetric history is uncomplicated and her first two children were born by spontaneous vaginal delivery.
She has no medical issues impacting this present pregnancy. A prolapsed umbilical cord is a rare but life-threatening obstetric emergency that occurs when the umbilical cord is abnormally positioned between the fetal presenting part and the cervix.
Normally, the fetal presenting part is its head, which during vaginal delivery descends through the birth canal first, followed by the upper body, and finally, the lower body, umbilical cord and placenta.
Now, the umbilical cord is a soft, tortuous bundle of blood vessels that is attached to the umbilicus of the fetus and connects to the center of the placenta.
The umbilical cord contains one vein that carries oxygenated blood and nutrients from the placenta to the fetus, as well as two arteries that carry deoxygenated blood and waste from the fetus to the placenta, and the urachus that drains the fetus’s urinary bladder.
Now, when the umbilical cord prolapses, it presents either ahead of the fetal presenting part, which is called an overt prolapse, or alongside the presenting part, referred to as an occult prolapse.
As a result, during vaginal delivery, the descending fetus compresses the umbilical cord, resulting in a decreased blood and oxygen supply to the fetus, which can cause fetal hypoxia.
Latest on COVID-19
Nurse Practitioner (NP)
Physician Assistant (PA)
Create custom content
Raise the Line Podcast
Copyright © 2024 Elsevier, its licensors, and contributors. All rights are reserved, including those for text and data mining, AI training, and similar technologies.
Cookies are used by this site.
Terms and Conditions
USMLE® is a joint program of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). COMLEX-USA® is a registered trademark of The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, Inc. NCLEX-RN® is a registered trademark of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. Test names and other trademarks are the property of the respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are endorsed by nor affiliated with Osmosis or this website.