Meconium Aspiration Syndrome: Risk Factors, Symptoms, and PrognosisAccording to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, your baby’s risk of meconium aspiration increases if you pass the due date; if a pregnant mother has gestational diabetes or hypertension; if labor and delivery prove difficult or lengthy; or if the infant suffers hypoxia (decreased oxygen) while in utero.
Here are a few indications of meconium aspiration syndrome:
- Low Apgar scores (These are tests given right after birth to measure the baby's health)
- Slow heart rate or difficulty breathing
- Low blood pH and increased carbon-dioxide level
- “Patchy or streaky areas” in the lungs in an infant’s chest x-ray
- Bluish skin color
Fortunately, the outlook for most afflicted infants is good. Physicians can use a variety of tools and strategies to prevent damage and minimize harm. These include deploying:
- Radiant warmers to help the infant maintain healthy body temperature
- Antibiotics to treat infections
- Ventilators to inflate the lungs
- Suctioning techniques to remove meconium as quickly as possible from the lungs
Permanent lung damage from aspiration of meconium is relatively rare. On the flip side, however, meconium aspiration can cause other serious, permanent health problems. Common complications include pneumonia, persistent hypertension, and brain damage.
If your doctor or caregiver’s negligence, carelessness, or failure to act caused or exacerbated your infant’s meconium aspiration syndrome, you may want to consult a Kentucky birth injury attorney to discuss possible legal remedies to get you compensated for your neonatal care costs, long-term rehabilitation costs, and other damages.
The experienced, reputable Kentucky and Ohio birth injury attorneys at the Law Office of Schachter, Hendy & Johnson can provide a confidential, free consultation. For over three and a half decades, we have represented families of injured newborns in the Kentucky and Ohio region. Please reach out to us at 859-578-4444 or 888-606-5297 today to get help and answers.