Newborn Nursery at LPCH

Umbilical Cord Hematoma

photo by David A Clark, MD

Umbilical hematomas are fortunately very rare (incidence approximately 1:5000). They may be spontaneous or related to trauma from prenatal procedures or birth, but they are caused by rupture of the umbilical vessels, usually the umbilical vein. When the rupture occurs in utero, fetal distress is common, and up to 50% of cases result in fetal death. The etiology is thought to be either hypoxia secondary to the venous mass occluding the umbilical vessels or exanguination. When noted as a physical finding in an otherwise well newborn, the hematoma is expected to resolve spontaneously and requires no additional evaluation.

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