Relationship between the tensile strengths and diameters of human umbilical cords

D. M.G. Fernando, S. M.K. Gamage*, S. Ranmohottige, I. Weerakkody, H. Abeyruwan, H. Parakrama

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Mothers of alleged infanticides might claim that umbilical cord broke during precipitate delivery causing injuries detected on baby at autopsy. There is paucity of evidence regarding this possibility. The objective of the study was to determine relationship between tensile strength and diameter or weight per unit length of cord. Diameters and weights per unit length of fresh umbilical cords were determined. Tensile strengths were measured by Hounsfield Testing Machine. Relationship between tensile strength versus cord diameter and weight per unit length were analyzed. Of 122 cords, average tensile strength, diameter and weight per centimeter were 50.4 N, 7.73 mm and 6.87 g respectively. The tensile strengths were directly proportional to diameter. There was no association between tensile strength and weight per centimeter. Measurement of the diameter of cord is important during autopsy to predict tensile strength and thereby to presume whether cord could have broken by the weight of the baby.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-50
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes


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