Meconium aspiration syndrome and HIE in babies are two separate medical conditions. With that said, in some instances they both can be diagnoses for babies. For todays discussion we will talk more about these conditions from a medical legal point of view. For some babies who have an HIE diagnosis, hypothermia cooling might be used to help treat the HIE. Hypothermia treatment is performed following specific guidelines to help stop more damage being caused by the injury.
Later we will break down the condition meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS). In addition, we will explain the basics of HIE and why it can lead to an injury to the brain.
What Is Meconium?
The term MAS begins with the word meconium. Meconium is basically your child’s stool and it can be present in a fair number of deliveries. In some cases, the meconium will not be problematic. However, in other cases meconium, coupled with problems on the electronic fetal heart monitor, might suggest that a baby is in what is called fetal distress. Fetal distress, especially if not remedied in time can be the warning sign that a baby is having blood and oxygen issues.
MAS can be dangerous if the meconium is breathed in by a baby following delivery. Meconium can be a sticky substance and if it travels below the vocal cords and into the lungs it can lead to breathing and oxygen problems for a baby. This is because it can lead to swelling and inflammation in the lungs. The condition can also lead to infections and in some instances death if it is severe enough.
Meconium Aspiration Syndrome and HIE in Babies
HIE, or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is a medical condition which includes a reduction in blood and oxygen which can lead to a brain injury. As was mentioned earlier, if meconium is present, with other problem signs on the fetal heart monitor, fetal distress is a condition that doctors and nurses must be prepared to diagnose and treat.
Treatment options can include turning mom, giving her oxygen, providing a bolus, and in some cases where warranted, an emergency C-section. A baby can suffer disastrous consequences if the fetal distress is essentially missed and goes on past the baby’s fetal reserves.
As literature can suggest, HIE and MAS are medical conditions that can happen together. Accurately diagnosing and threating these conditions is the best way to give a baby a chance at the best outcome possible.
If your baby has been diagnosed with HIE or even a subsequent CP diagnosis because of HIE and or MAS and you have questions, my contact information is included below. Pick up the phone and call me. I talk with families all the time about these issues, as this is what we do, and I would be happy to listen to your baby’s story.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP