Prolapse of the umbilical cord is a potential cause of cord compression with fetal hypoxemia.


Risk factors for prolapse:

(1) multiparous mother

(2) multiple gestations (especially for a second or subsequent fetus)

(3) long umbilical cord

(4) premature labor with low birth weight

(5) rupture of membranes before parts are engaged, either premature rupture (PROM) or amniotomy)

(6) abnormal fetal presentation, including breech presentation

(7) polydramnios

(8) Bishop score > 8


The presence of a gap between the fetus and the uterine wall offers a potential space for a prolapsing cord to slip between.


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