This terrifying condition can occur at any point during the birth process – from the time labor first begins to after the baby is delivered. Meconium aspiration syndrome can happen if the baby breathes meconium, which is also referred to as the baby’s first stool, and amniotic fluid into the lungs. The meconium, once inhaled, has the potential to block the baby’s airways, making it difficult to breathe.
What Causes Meconium Aspiration?
Fetal stress is one of the most common causes of this condition. This stress could be induced in the womb or may occur if there is a difficult delivery. It can also be the result of a baby who is past due, umbilical cord complications, or poor growth within the uterus, which are among the many potential risk factors.
What Actions Can Be Taken?
It is crucial that the doctor diagnoses and treats the child right away, if meconium has been inhaled. The treatment can be started during the delivery. A laryngoscope may be inserted into the baby’s trachea to remove the substance. Tests might also be ordered, including a blood test and chest x-ray.
Once a child has been diagnosed with MAS, further treatment may be required, including:
- Use of a breathing machine
- Tapping on the baby’s chest
The child may be placed in the newborn intensive care unit during the treatment period.
Could the Doctor Be Held Responsible?
Sometimes MAS is the result of medical negligence. If your child has suffered from this birth injury and you believe the doctor was to blame, you should contact an experienced Kentucky birth injury lawyer. You could have a case of medical malpractice and may be able to hold the doctor liable.
For a free case evaluation, contact the Law Office of Schachter, Hendy & Johnson at (859) 578-4444 or (888) 606-5297.