A few days ago, I posted a video explaining meconium and its impact during labor and delivery. Since that video, I have had questions from individuals about the medical condition meconium aspiration syndrome and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Since the previous video just covered meconium, this discussion will build on that topic.
Today I will discuss MAS and HIE and how a birth injury attorney investigates these matters. MAS and HIE can be serious medical conditions and it is important that medical professionals be on the lookout for problems during labor and delivery which can reveal that a baby is no longer tolerating a vaginal delivery.
What Is Meconium Aspiration Syndrome?
Included in the condition meconium aspiration syndrome is the term meconium. Essentially, the word meconium refers to your baby’s stool. This substance can vary in color, but is usually greenish, yellowish, or black/brownish in color. According to some literature, the cause of a baby passing meconium is due to stressors to the baby. During labor and delivery stressors which can impact the baby’s heart rate can be shown on the electronic fetal heart monitor.
MAS can occur when your baby swallows the meconium that has been passed. After birth, when the substance is present, doctors will look to determine whether the substance has passed below the baby’s vocal cords. In many hospitals, when meconium is present when mom’s water breaks, the NICU team will be on standby as a precautionary measure. The NICU may also be called if the substance is present on the baby at delivery.
Meconium Aspiration Syndrome And Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
Meconium aspiration syndrome and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy can occur in certain instances. Because meconium is a sticky substance, if it is swallowed past the vocal cords, it runs the risk of getting into the lungs. After a baby is born, he or she will begin to breathe on their own, not dependent on mother anymore. If the lungs are covered in meconium this can prevent or limit the baby’s oxygen supply.
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy occurs in this context when there is a reduction in blood and oxygen, which can lead to a brain injury. When there is a meconium situation present, doctors must correctly diagnose and treat the condition because failure to do so can lead to a traumatic brain injury or in severe cases, death.
If your baby has suffered a brain injury at birth, and has an HIE diagnosis and meconium was present, and you have questions, I invite you to call me. My contact information is down below and I would be happy to listen to your baby’s story. I am a birth injury attorney who helps families in Prince George’s County, Baltimore City, and all other counties in Maryland.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP