Meconium Aspiration

What is Meconium Aspiration Syndrome?

Meconium is the first stool that is discharged by a newborn. It is discharged before the baby begins feeding on either breast milk or formula, and is normally passed after the birth of the child. Still, in some cases, the fetus may pass meconium during labor or while it is still inside the uterus. It typically happens when the fetus is suffering distress because of problems with either blood and oxygen levels or the placenta.

Birth trauma may cause meconium aspiration syndrome, a condition that occurs when the fetus inhales amniotic fluid and meconium (feces) into its lungs. While the prognosis is typically favorable, serious lung problems can develop. If untreated, meconium aspiration can be catastrophic or fatal.

DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers has extensive experience in handling all type of birth injury cases. Our lawyers have the experience and resources available to determine if medical malpractice caused a child's birth injury. We know that you and your family are under significant stress. We strive to help you find answers and recover the compensation you need for your child's medical care and associated losses.

Call our office today at 315-479-9000 today for a free consultation.

Risk Factors

Stress or trauma during labor and delivery can cause a fetus to inhale meconium. Common birth traumas include:

  • Prolonged labor
  • Oxygen deficiency
  • Perinatal asphyxia or fetal hypoxia
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Mother's high blood pressure

Doctors should recognize the risk factors for meconium aspiration such as health conditions of the mother, a pregnancy that is long past the due date and any issue that can cause fetal oxygen deprivation.

Timely Treatment is Essential

If it is not diagnosed in a timely manner or treated appropriately after birth, meconium aspiration syndrome can result in infection, low heart rate, breathing problems or persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN). When doctors suspect that meconium aspiration may have occurred, they should perform diagnostic tests such as lung X-rays and blood gas tests for acidosis. Immediate treatment may include a ventilator, oxygen and antibiotics.

At the time of childbirth, if dark green fecal matter (meconium) is present on the infant, instantaneous action must be taken:

  • Suction should be applied at the baby's mouth, nose and throat to remove meconium
  • To remove meconium that has passed the mouth into the throat or lungs, a tube might be needed to pass into the baby's windpipe
  • The baby may need to be treated with oxygen and be put on a ventilator

Through prompt and appropriate medical care, the effects of meconium aspiration syndrome can be minimal. When a doctor, nurse or other medical provider fails to act appropriately, it could cause meconium aspiration syndrome. In case of any medical mistake, the newborn may suffer a birth injury, including cerebral palsy, which may lead to life long and devastating health problems for the infant.

Contact Us to Discuss Meconium Aspiration Injuries

To schedule a free consultation, please call our Syracuse office at 315-479-9000 or contact us online. We offer evening and weekend appointments as well as home and hospital visits. You will also never be responsible for legal fees unless we are able to recover compensation for you.

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