Birth Injury – Meconium Aspiration Syndrome

meconium aspiration syndrome

Even when a pregnancy is healthy and problem free, the delivery of the baby may become difficult, posing a risk to the baby.

Many things can go wrong during the delivery of a child. However, with proper prenatal care, the risks of injury is reduced to a large extent. There are times even though the pregnancy was healthy and problem free, the delivery process becomes quite difficult. In such situations, the health care providers must take appropriate action to protect the health of the baby and the mother. They must identify the symptoms in a timely manner and take actions to prevent a birth injury.

What Is Meconium Aspiration Syndrome?

A complication that may occur during the birthing process is meconium aspiration syndrome. Meconium is a medical term that refers to the fecal matter that a baby passes soon after birth. When the baby experiences stress inside the uterus, they may pass meconium inside the womb.

The fecal matter becomes mixed with the amniotic fluid and poses a serious risk to the baby. There is a risk that the baby can breathe in the fecal matter inside the womb or just after delivery before the amniotic fluid and fecal matter is wiped off. If this matter enters the baby’s airways, it can cause swelling and create a blockage. The condition is a birth injury known as meconium aspiration syndrome.

Possibility of Meconium Aspiration Syndrome

There are certain signs of the possibility of meconium aspiration including:

  • Prolonged pregnancy – when the pregnancy continues past the due date, the placenta begins to age and weaken, and the health of the uterus also deteriorates. This creates the possibility of the meconium escaping into the uterus.
  • Diabetes in the mother.
  • Decreased oxygen supply to the fetus inside the womb.
  • Difficult or prolonged labor.
  • High blood pressure in the mother.

Responsibility of the Attending Physician

The attending doctor should look for signs of meconium aspiration such as body limpness, bluish tint, and breathing irregularities. If the doctor notices any of these symptoms, there are various treatments that can be administered.

  • View the fetal monitor regularly for any signs or symptoms of fetal distress.
  • Conduct blood gas analysis tests to check low oxygen, high carbon dioxide, and pH levels.

If these tests show any signs of distress then the doctor may:

  • Administer antibiotics to treat any infections within the baby’s body.
  • Administer oxygen to maintain proper blood circulation.
  • Place the baby on a respiratory machine to clear airways.
  • Place the baby in an incubator to maintain healthy body temperature.

St. Louis Birth Injury Lawyers

It is important to understand that meconium aspiration rarely causes permanent damage, but if the doctor and attending staff fails to take appropriate measures to manage the situation, the baby may suffer serious injuries. If the asphyxiation is not handled properly and oxygen fails to reach the baby’s brain, he or she can suffer permanent brain damage. If you suspect that your baby’s meconium asphyxiation was not treated properly and it caused serious injury, contact a birth injury lawyer at the Zevan and Davidson Law Firm, LLC at (314) 588-7200 to discuss your case.

Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.


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