umbilical cord

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any long, cylindrical, flexible structure; called also chord, chorda, and funiculus.
spermatic cord the structure extending from the abdominal inguinal ring to the testis, comprising the pampiniform plexus, nerves, ductus deferens, testicular artery, and other vessels.
spinal cord see spinal cord.
tethered cord a congenital anomaly resulting from defective closure of the neural tube; the conus medullaris is abnormally low and tethered by a short, thickened filum terminale, fibrous bands, intradural lipoma, or some other intradural abnormality. Surgical correction in infancy or early childhood is necessary to prevent progressive neurological deficit in the lower limb and bladder dysfunction.
umbilical cord see umbilical cord.
vocal c's see vocal cords.


pertaining to the umbilicus.
umbilical cord the structure that connects the fetus and placenta; it is the lifeline of the fetus in the uterus throughout pregnancy. About 2 weeks after conception, the umbilical cord and the placenta are sufficiently developed to begin their functions. Through two arteries and a vein in the cord, nourishment and oxygen pass from the blood vessels in the placenta to the fetus, and waste products pass from the fetus to the placenta. Soon after birth, the umbilical cord is clamped or tied and then cut. The part that is attached to the placenta, still in the uterus, is expelled with the placenta. The stump that remains attached to the baby's abdomen is about 2 inches (5 cm) long. After a few days it falls off naturally.
Clamping the umbilical cord.
Umbilical cord with umbilical vein and umbilical arteries. From McKinney, 2000.
umbilical hernia protrusion of abdominal contents through the abdominal wall at the umbilicus, the defect in the abdominal wall and protruding intestine being covered with skin and subcutaneous tissue. Called also exomphalos and exumbilication.

During the growth of the fetus, the intestines grow more rapidly than the abdominal cavity. For a period, a portion of the intestines of the unborn child usually lies outside the abdomen in a sac within the umbilical cord. Normally, the intestines return to the abdomen, and the defect is closed by the time of birth. Occasionally the abdominal wall does not close solidly, and umbilical hernia results. This defect is more likely to be seen in premature infants and in girls rather than boys. It usually closes by itself. Coughing, crying, and straining temporarily cause the sac to enlarge, but the hernia never bursts and digestion is not affected. If the defect in the abdominal wall has not repaired itself by the time the child is 2 years old, surgery to correct the condition (herniorrhaphy) can then be performed.

Umbilical hernia should be distinguished from omphalocele, in which the intestines protrude directly into the umbilical cord and are covered only by a thin membrane. Omphalocele is a surgical emergency that must be treated immediately after birth.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

um·bil·i·cal cord

the definitive connecting stalk between the embryo or fetus and the placenta; at birth it is primarily composed of mucoid connective tissue (Wharton jelly) in which the umbilical vessels are embedded.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

umbilical cord

The flexible cordlike structure connecting a fetus at the navel with the placenta and containing two umbilical arteries and one vein that transport nourishment to the fetus and remove its wastes.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


Forensic medicine The active or semi-passive killing of a viable conceptus > 20 gestational wks, which breathes spontaneously. See Battered child syndrome, Child abuse. Cf Stillbirth.
Infanticide, diagnosis of  
'Hard' criteria
•  Comparison of gastric fluid composition with that of a toilet bowel-active drowning
•  Peural surfaces with petechiae Seen in induced suffocation, most significant when coupled with hematomas and petechiae on the mouth and epiglottis; the lingual frenulum may be torn and the lips bruised, indicating active attempts to suffocate infant.
•  Lungs Stillbirth lungs are not aerated and do not float
•  Edematous foam on nostrils An indicator of active breathing
•  Meconium Resuscitation of a true stillborn may push meconium into the perianal region, but extensive staining of the placenta and umbilical cord is due to antenatal stress
'Soft' criteria
•  Denial of pregnancy If the woman is obese or a dullard, she may not know she was pregnant
•  Rigor mortis A finding that is poorly appreciated in neonates
•  Impression of the body in soil, blood, or fomites, requiring diligent and timely scene investigation
•  Maceration of skin A finding typical of stillbirth
•  Putrefaction Stillborns do not putrefy as they have sterile bowels
•  Umbilical cord A cut cord indicates active intervention-time undetermined; an intact cord is consistent with stillbirth
•  Determination of age Viability, most fetuses born before 18 wks of gestation die despite resuscitative efforts, age is determined by skeletal dating, antenatal studies corroborating fetal death, eg Spaulding sign of in utero death characterized by overlapping cranial bones  
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

um·bil·i·cal cord

(ŭm-bil'i-kăl kōrd)
The definitive connecting stalk between the embryo or fetus and the placenta; at birth it is primarily composed of mucoid connective tissue (Wharton jelly) in which the umbilical vessels are embedded.
Synonym(s): funiculus umbilicalis [TA] , funis (1) .
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012
Enlarge picture

umbilical cord

The attachment connecting the fetus with the placenta. It contains two arteries and one vein surrounded by a gelatinous substance (Wharton's jelly). The umbilical arteries carry blood from the fetus to the placenta, where nutrients are obtained and carbon dioxide and oxygen are exchanged; this oxygenated blood returns to the fetus through the umbilical vein. See: illustration

The umbilical cord is surgically severed after the birth of the child. To give the infant a better blood supply, the cord should not be cut or tied until the umbilical vessels have ceased pulsating. However, in preterm infants, the cord should be clamped and cut before pulsation ceases to avoid maternal-newborn transfusion and reduce the risk of hypovolemia, polycythemia, and hyperbilirubinemia.

The stump of the severed cord atrophies and leaves a depression on the abdomen of the child (the navel, umbilicus, or belly button).

See also: cord
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners

umbilical cord

The nutritional, hormonal and immunological link between the mother and the fetus during pregnancy. The umbilical cord arises from the PLACENTA and enters the fetus at the site of the future navel. It carries two arteries and a vein that connect to the fetal circulation.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005

umbilical cord

the cord that joins the embryo of placental mammals to the PLACENTA (1) consisting of two arteries and one vein supported by connective tissue. The cord is usually severed at birth, the part connected to the baby degenerating, leaving a scar, the navel.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005

Umbilical cord

The blood vessels that allow the developing baby to receive nutrition and oxygen from its mother; the blood vessels also eliminate the baby's waste products. One end of the umbilical cord is attached to the placenta and the other end is attached to the baby's belly button (umbilicus).
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Official medical reports said the baby was in danger from the moment it was born as the umbilical chord was not cut correctly and was not fed.A It went on to say there was a possiblity the infant may have been choked as well.
The Umbilical Chord is actually the Motorola Renegade pager, an entry-level one-button unit, that comes with a bungee chord so it can be attached to the user's clothing.
Although the youngster had shown sign of improvement as soon as the umbilical chord was cut, Erin and Kevin noticed Demi favouring her right side.
Williamson gave instructions about how to clean the babyEs face to clear his airway and asked the grandmother to find a shoe string to tie off the umbilical chord. Meanwhile, Reyes already thought quickly and used a latex glove she was carrying.
"Then we had an emergency at the hospital while I was having a shower I realised his umbilical chord was literally just coming out, just falling out.
Mohammad is shown in a helpless state of quiet panic as the two paramedics battle to save his son as wife Syad lies on the floor - umbilical chord still attached, reports the Mirror.
While the family was fast asleep, the suspect crept into one of the bathrooms and cut the umbilical chord with a kitchen knife.
Together with the populations of the old industrial heartlands of the south as far west as Llanelli, this combined population would give Cardiff a similar critical mass to the one provided to Manchester Airport by its hinterland (of which North Wales is a part) that enabled that part of the island to cut its umbilical chord and compete with London in the international market.
He has undergone months of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a life-saving bone marrow transplant, using stem cells from a baby's umbilical chord.
The discovery of George Francis, who was wrapped in tissue and still had his umbilical chord attached, caused much publicity at the time in both Bahrain and the Philippines.
The Divers use an umbilical chord that provides breathing gas, communication and hot water to keep them warm at that depth.
Cleaners discovered the baby wrapped in tissue and with his umbilical chord still attached after Gulf Air flight 154 arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport on September 12.