Did your child suffer from a serious birth injury related to meconium aspiration syndrome?
The Dallas birth injury lawyers at Rasansky Law Firm are here to help you and your family. We’re happy to discuss your case, give our advice on your family’s options moving forward, and explain how we may be able to help you at no out of pocket cost. Call us today at 1-877-405-4313 for a free consultation.
“Meconium” is the technical term for a baby’s first stool, which usually remains in the child’s intestines until after birth. Intrauterine distress can cause your baby to pass meconium while still in the uterus, which mixes with the amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus. This occurs in around 5-20 percent of all births, and can lead to the development of meconium aspiration syndrome (or MAS).
If and when meconium is aspirated by the child (either during gestation, during labor, or immediately after birth), it can lead to significant health complications for your newborn child, including pneumonia, seizures, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, developmental delays, cerebral palsy, and even death.
Children suffering from fetal distress during a difficult labor (and those born past their due dates) are more-prone to suffering from meconium aspiration syndrome. Respiratory distress (lack of blood flow or oxygen to the child’s brain) is often the primary contributing factor to the development of this type of birth injury, and can result in a number of ways.
Some of the main risk factors associated with the development of meconium aspiration syndrome include:
- Maternal hypertension or preeclampsia.
- Respiratory distress or fetal asphyxia.
- Oligohydramnios (low amniotic fluid levels).
- Fetal acidosis.
- Maternal drug use.
- Placental insufficiency.
Doctors should watch out for signs of meconium aspiration syndrome, and actively work to mitigate the potential for serious injury to your child. Failure to do so could open themselves up to a medical malpractice claim.
Signs to look for include the presence of meconium-stained amniotic fluid, meconium in a child’s trachea after birth, a distended chest or rib cage (AKA barrel chest), a very low blood pH (also a sign of acidosis), as well as any signs of fetal distress or asphyxia (e.g., bluish skin tone, abnormal fetal heart rate, a low Apgar score, or brain cell death).
How doctors should diagnose and treat MAS.
When a child is born—especially when meconium-stained amniotic fluid is present—doctors should have the newborn’s blood work done to determine risk factors such as an abnormal blood pH. They should check for lung over-inflation, as well as for the presence of any meconium in the amniotic fluid (often identified by a greenish-brown coloration) or in the child’s airway/lungs. Doctors should also use a stethoscope to listen in on the child’s breathing to see if there are any signs of pulmonary obstruction.
Meconium aspiration syndrome should be treated as a matter of urgency. This usually starts with fetal monitoring, especially if the child shows signs of being predisposed to MAS. If the condition does develop, they should clear the child’s airway via repetitive suctioning until the meconium is dislodged from the lungs. In-between suctioning, babies also ought to be provided with supplementary oxygen.
The child will also need to be placed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in order to be closely monitored for any complications that may arise out of the MAS. They may require oxygenation, the normalization of blood pH, blood sugar monitoring, as well as proper ventilation to help mitigate further complications.
In addition, the child may require surfactant therapy, which makes it easier for lungs to expand, helping to improve their breathing. Persistent pulmonary hypertension (which is commonly associated with MAS) is often treated by way of nitric oxide, which helps relax blood vessels in the lungs to facilitate the flow of blood to this area.
Our Dallas birth injury lawyers may be able to help you and your family.
Birth injuries related to meconium aspiration can cause lifelong health problems. If your child’s birth injury was the result of medical malpractice, why should your family be forced to pay for the cost of future medical treatment?
Call our birth injury attorneys today at 1-877-405-4313 to discuss the details of your case, and your family’s options moving forward. Consultations are free, and we’re happy to answer any questions you have. If we feel as though we can help with your case, we’ll tell you. The best part is that we never charge a penny in fees unless we actually win your case and put money in your pocket.
Speak With a Dallas Birth Injury Attorney For Free
The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are happy to speak to you about your potential case free of charge. If we can help with your claim, we’ll do so for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us 24/7 at (214) 651-6100, or toll-free at 1-877-405-4313.