Meconmium Aspiration Syndrome is one of the primary causes of infant birth injury. The term refers to the process by which an infant inhales a combination of meconium (their first stool) and amnoitic fluids. This can lead to severe illness and can even possibly lead to death. About 5-10% of infants are at risk of inhaling meconium during birth and if it occurs as a result of medical negligence then it may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Learn more about meconium aspiration syndrome and medical malpractice in today’s blog.
The most common reason that meconium aspiration syndrome occurs is because an infant experiences fetal distress during labor. Other risk factors may include:
- Maternal diabetes
- Complex, prolonged, or challenging delivery
- Maternal high blood pressure
- Perinatal asphyxia
When an infant inhales meconium, it is crucial that the medical staff on hand suctions the newborn’s mouth as soon as possible. Sometimes further treatment is necessary which requires doctors to insert a tube into the baby’s trachea so that suction can be applied more directly to the lungs. This is continued until it can be seen that the content of the suction no longer contains meconium. If a doctor fails to adequately and quickly respond to meconium aspiration syndrome then this can be grounds for a birth injury medical malpractice lawsuit.
Early detection is important to prevent further complications. If a mother’s water breaks at home and she notices that the fluid is stained dark then she should immediately notify her doctor. Fetal monitoring will be implemented to ensure that any signs of fetal distress are responded to swiftly. When meconium aspiration syndrome is not properly attended to, complications can include breathing complications that last for several days, collapsed lung, and possibly brain damage that can result in cerebral palsy.