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Umbilical cord prolapse is defined as the umbilical cord descending below the fetal presenting part (usually head), through the cervix, in the presence of ruptured membranes.
Cord prolapse is an obstetric emergency that can quickly lead to fetal hypoxia if left untreated.
The exact cause of cord prolapse varies in each pregnancy, however, generally any factors associated with fetal malposition increase the risk as well as obstetric procedures, these can include:1
Breech, transverse, unstable lie
Twin pregnancy (especially delivery of the second twin)
Artificial rupture of membranes
External cephalic version
A history would typically involve clarifying:
The details surrounding the rupture of membranes (e.g. timing, spontaneous or artificial etc)
Identification of any potential risk factors (as noted above)