Written by attorney Marcus Bazzell Boston

What Is Meconium Aspiration Syndrome And How Can It Lead To A Birth Injury?

What is meconium aspiration syndrome, or MAS? In general, MAS is a medical condition that can lead to significant injury for a baby. From, infection, to a brain injury, to death, MAS is a condition which must be closely monitored and treated correctly.

If your baby has been diagnosed with MAS and you think that the doctors failed to detect and treat the condition the right way, this article may shed light on some of the areas of analysis when you contact a Maryland medical malpractice attorney.


Before discussing MAS, I would like to break down the term meconium. Meconium is essentially the baby’s stool. It is a buildup of the materials a baby ingests during the growth process in the womb. Meconium can vary in color but is usually dark green. However, the substance can also display colors such as brown and yellow.

Meconium, coupled with other indicators such as a low heart rate on the fetal heart monitor, minimal variability, late decelerations, etc…. can suggest that the baby is no longer tolerating a vaginal delivery and is in distress (fetal distress). When this happens, doctors must take measures to help the baby, for example, a C-section if warranted.


When meconium is present when a mother’s water breaks, there is a risk of the baby ingesting the substance. Ingested meconium can get into the baby’s lungs. Since the substance is thick and sticky, it can prevent the baby from breathing when the umbilical cord is cut following delivery. A baby who cannot breathe at birth, can suffer from a lack of oxygen and an eventual brain injury in some cases. In addition, MAS can lead to infection in the baby, or even death.

At many hospitals, the NICU will be on standby when meconium is present because of the dangers it poses. Doctors who fail to properly diagnose and treat MAS (doctors can see if meconium is below the cords, can listen to the baby’s breathing patterns, can perform an X-ray of the chest, etc…) can set the baby up for significant injury. Moreover, if the baby is not tolerating a vaginal delivery, doctors cannot hesitate to move to a C-Section to lessen the chance of the baby suffering injury.


If you have more questions regarding your baby’s birth injury and the challenges he or she may face in the future, pick up the phone and give me a call. I can be reached at 301-850-4832, or 1-833-4 BABY HELP. I talk with parents like you all the time and I would be happy to listen to your story.

Marcus B. Boston, Esq. Boston Law Group, LLC 2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700 Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815 301-850-4832

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