The question whether meconium can cause a traumatic brain injury was recently searched on our website. For my discussion today I will touch on not only the topic of meconium but also meconium aspiration syndrome in the context of the traumatic brain injury HIE or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Before moving forward, it is noteworthy to understand that meconium can be common with babies. The substance can become problematic when it is not diagnosed and treated accordingly.
Can Meconium Cause A Traumatic Brain Injury (HIE)?
If you are new to this issue you may be wondering what is meconium? Meconium is essentially the stool that your baby produces. The substance can be brownish, yellowish, or greenish in color. In addition, it has properties which can make it very sticky. Some babies will pass meconium but they will not ingest or swallow it. Issues can arise if the baby swallows the substance. Once this occurs, the condition associated with the swallowing of meconium is meconium aspiration syndrome or MAS.
In the context of the traumatic brain injury HIE this is a reduction in blood and oxygen which can lead a baby to suffer a brain injury. There can be numerous causes of HIE, meconium can be a cause in a certain situation. This situation can occur when MAS is present.
When doctors notice meconium at birth one of the first things they will check to see is whether the meconium has passed below the baby’s vocal cords. If the meconium has went past the vocal cords then it is possible that the substance has went down into the baby’s lungs. Remember above I mentioned that meconium can be a sticky substance. While a baby is in the womb the baby breathes essentially through the umbilical cord. However, at birth the baby now uses its lungs to breathe. Meconium in the lungs can impact a babies breathing. As a result, if the lungs are impacted due to meconium this can cause a reduction in oxygen for the baby. A reduction in oxygen can then lead to a traumatic brain injury like hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.
Do you have more questions about your baby’s HIE diagnosis? Maybe you are wondering whether everything was diagnosed correctly during your labor and delivery. If you would like to speak with me further my contact information is below. It costs nothing to talk with me about your baby’s story.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
2 Wisconsin Circle Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815