Birth Injuries

What Is Meconium Aspiration Syndrome?

Meconium aspiration syndrome occurs when meconium, which is essentially the baby’s stool, is found in the baby’s lungs [1]. In certain cases, however, the baby will pass the meconium right before delivery and it will be found in the amniotic fluid. Doctors will be able to determine if a meconium has passed due to the fluid being either dark green, brown, or yellow. Meconium found right after the water is broken can raise serious concerns regarding the baby experiencing distress.

A baby ingesting the meconium can lead to a serious injury in the child due to its ability to obstruct the baby’s airways which can lead to serious infection. Pneumonia can also be the result of meconium aspiration syndrome, which creates an emergency in the delivery room. When this happens, doctors must immediately treat the baby to clear the airways (ventilation treatment is given as needed) because if the baby is unable to receive an adequate amount of oxygen, a brain injury can occur, which can lead to hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Additionally, depending on the location of the brain injury, cerebral palsy could be a future diagnosis of a child who has been diagnosed with HIE.

[1] Id

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