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Meconium aspiration and medical malpractice

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Meconium aspiration syndrome is a serious condition that occurs when a newborn inhales meconium, a baby’s first stool, into their lungs. This occurs before, during or immediately after birth.

Parents should review the potential connection between meconium aspiration and medical malpractice.

Understanding meconium aspiration

Meconium is a thick, sticky substance that accumulates in a baby’s intestines during pregnancy. In most cases, it passes out of the baby’s body after birth. However, there are situations where meconium goes into the amniotic fluid before delivery, leading to a higher risk of aspiration. When a baby inhales meconium-stained amniotic fluid into their lungs, it can cause significant respiratory distress and potentially lead to long-term complications.

MedlinePlus reports that while meconium aspiration rarely causes permanent damage to the lungs, it can result in a child having problems due to coughing and wheezing during the first ten years of their life.

Medical professional negligence

In some cases, medical malpractice can contribute to the severity of meconium aspiration syndrome. Medical professionals have a duty to monitor both the mother and baby during labor and delivery. If they detect meconium in the amniotic fluid, they must closely monitor the baby’s respiratory status. Also, they must suction the baby’s airways immediately after delivery to clear any meconium present. If this procedure is not performed correctly, it can result in respiratory distress and worsen the outcome for the newborn.

Meconium aspiration syndrome is a serious condition that can have long-lasting effects on a newborn’s health. While meconium aspiration can occur naturally, medical malpractice can worsen the outcome and contribute to the severity of the condition.