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Table of Contents
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.
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
History would typically involve a rupture of membranes (spontaneous or artificial) along with identification of any potential risk factors (as noted above).
Most common findings:
Less common findings:
This is an obstetric emergency as the umbilical cord will go into vasospasm and fetal hypoxia will occur if left untreated:
Birth hypoxia – neonatology team should be present at delivery and paired umbilical cord gases should be taken to assess fetal pH
Psychological trauma – due to the emergency nature of cord prolapse, the event should be explained to the mother after delivery