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What Is Meconium Aspiration Syndrome (MAS)?

What is meconium aspiration syndrome, and can it be dangerous for your baby? It is not until a baby is faced with breathing, and other related issues due to meconium aspiration syndrome, that parents even know of this medical condition. The good news is that for many children, meconium aspiration syndrome does not leave them with permanent problems. With that said, in some instances, the condition can cause not only serious injury, but in some cases even death.

In this Maryland birth injury article, I will speak on meconium aspiration syndrome from a medical legal standpoint. At the conclusion of the article, you should have a better understanding of the condition and when problems can occur for your baby.

WHAT IS MECONIUM?

What is meconium? For starters, it is the first word used in meconium aspiration syndrome. In general, meconium is 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.

In the area of birth injury, meconium, coupled with other factors on the fetal heart monitor, can suggest that your baby may be in fetal distress. Broken down into simple terms, in this context fetal distress means that your baby is no longer tolerating a vaginal delivery. Doctors and nurses can use the electronic fetal heart monitor to help them monitor whether your baby is tolerating a vaginal delivery.

WHAT IS MECONIUM ASPIRATION SYNDROME?

Meconium aspiration syndrome occurs when meconium is present in the baby’s lungs. In some cases, however, the baby will pass the meconium right before delivery and it will be present in the amniotic fluid. Doctors will be able to tell that the baby has passed meconium because the fluid will be either a dark green in color, or brown, or yellow.

If a baby ingests the meconium, it can lead to serious injury in the child. The reason being is that meconium can block the baby’s airways and lead to serious infection. Pneumonia can be the result of meconium aspiration syndrome and for these reasons, the condition creates an emergency in the delivery room. Doctors will immediately work to clear the baby’s airways (ventilation treatment is given as needed) because if the baby cannot get the requisite amount of oxygen, a brain injury can occur. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) can be the result of doctors not treating meconium aspiration syndrome the right way. In addition, depending on where the brain is injured, cerebral palsy could be a future diagnosis of a child diagnosed with HIE.

As I mentioned above, for some children, meconium aspiration syndrome will not cause any problems; however, this will not always be the case. As a result, when meconium is present, doctors should closely monitor mother and baby during labor and delivery.

HAS YOUR CHILD BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH A BRAIN INJURY BECAUSE OF MAS?

At the conclusion of this article, you should have a better understanding of what is meconium aspiration syndrome. Although this condition can sometimes not cause any long-term problems, this is not always the case. Failure to properly diagnose and treat meconium aspiration syndrome can set a baby up to deal with potentially devastating consequences.

To speak with me further about your baby’s brain injury at birth, or recent cerebral palsy diagnosis, this is what I invite you to do. Pick up the phone and give me a call. I can be reached at 301-850-4832. I answer questions regarding labor and delivery, brain injuries, cerebral palsy diagnosis, and much more surrounding birth injuries 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 bostonlawllc.com 301-850-4832 1-833-4 BABY HELP

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