In some cases, meconium aspiration syndrome can occur as the result of medical negligence and may support a medical malpractice birth injury lawsuit. If your newborn suffered preventable complications related to meconium aspiration, you may be able to hold the doctor or hospital liable and recover compensation for your damages.
Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at 1-800-222-9529. You can connect with a birth injury lawyer in your state who will explain your legal options, review your case, and pursue damages at no out-of-pocket cost to your family.
Meconium Aspiration Syndrome Lawsuits & Injury Cases
Doctors must monitor the health of a baby before, during, and after labor and delivery. Failure to notice risk factors for meconium aspiration syndrome and take action or failure to quickly diagnose and address a baby born with symptoms of the condition may be medical negligence. If the medical professionals caring for your newborn did not give them immediate medical treatment, and they suffered oxygen deprivation, you may have a viable medical malpractice case.
Let a birth injury attorney near you review your child’s case. You may be able to recover damages for medical care costs, pain and suffering, and other losses related to a neonatal stroke, brain damage, cerebral palsy, or other meconium aspiration syndrome complications.
A birth injury attorney will evaluate your case for free. They can also help you understand:
- The liable party or parties in your case
- The evidence necessary to prove your case
- How to prove the doctor failed to provide the accepted standard of care
- The time limits that apply in your state
- The full range of damages that may be available to you
Meconium Aspiration Syndrome Overview
Meconium aspiration syndrome occurs when meconium—a sterile fluid found in the baby’s intestine—fluid mixes with amniotic fluid or gets on the baby’s face, and the baby may breathe it into his lungs. This can cause difficulty in breathing and other complications.
Meconium Aspiration Syndrome Causes
A baby may pass meconium during labor before they enter the birth canal. This most commonly occurs because of issues with the placenta or umbilical cord, causing the baby to experience stress related to a decrease in blood supply or oxygen.
Once there is meconium in the amniotic fluid, the baby could breathe it into their lungs at any time. This includes:
- In the uterus
- During delivery
- Directly after the baby is born
Some risk factors for meconium aspiration syndrome include:
- When a pregnancy continues past the due date
- Any decrease in oxygen in the uterus
- Diabetes or gestational diabetes in the mother
- Long labor and/or difficult delivery
- Mother’s high blood pressure
Meconium Aspiration Syndrome Symptoms
If the baby passed meconium before birth, the amniotic fluid will show signs of this contamination. The dark green meconium will be in the fluid and likely on the baby. This does not mean the baby has meconium aspiration syndrome, but it is a sign that medical care providers need to watch closely for other symptoms.
Babies with meconium aspiration syndrome may appear to have blue skin, lips, and fingernails at birth because their bodies are not getting adequate oxygen. This is a medical emergency.
Other symptoms include:
- Slow heart rate before birth
- Rapid breathing, gasping for breath, or no spontaneous breathing
- An unusual grunting sound when exhaling
Meconium Aspiration Syndrome Diagnosis and Treatment
Doctors can usually make a diagnosis based on seeing meconium during birth and symptoms that include trouble breathing. They may suction the newborn and offer supplemental oxygen before confirming their diagnosis with a chest X-ray.
Some babies may require sedation and ventilator support, surfactant and antibiotics, or, in the most severe cases, Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO).
Meconium Aspiration Syndrome Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my baby has Meconium Aspiration Syndrome?
If there was meconium present when you gave birth and your child struggled to breathe on his own, a likely cause is meconium aspiration syndrome. Because of the severity of this condition, it is normally diagnosed immediately following birth. If you spot signs of trouble breathing, but your child did not receive treatment for meconium aspiration syndrome or another condition, report the symptoms to your doctor immediately.
Can Meconium Aspiration Syndrome be fatal?
In most cases, babies who experience meconium aspiration syndrome and receive appropriate treatment recover fully. However, if the newborn does not get immediate and adequate care, they may experience brain damage and other lifelong disabilities because of oxygen deprivation. Permanent lung damage and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) are also possible.
Who is liable for Meconium Aspiration Syndrome?
The doctor responsible for monitoring the baby’s health and placental health may be liable for any preventable complications related to meconium aspiration syndrome. In some cases, other healthcare practitioners or the hospital where the baby was born may also be liable. Your attorney can help you identify the liable parties in your case.
What is the statute of limitations for Meconium Aspiration Syndrome?
How long you have from the date of your baby’s birth until the deadline for taking legal action depends on where the birth injury occurred. Each state has its own laws that set this type of time limit. They may toll the statute of limitations for a period since the victim is a minor, but the statute of repose likely sets a strict deadline for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Meconium Aspiration Syndrome Glossary Terms
- What is Amniotic Fluid? Amniotic fluid is the clear fluid that fills the amniotic sac during pregnancy. It protects the baby while it is in the uterus.
- What is Cyanosis? Cyanosis is a bluish discoloration of the skin that occurs as a result of a lack of oxygen. In addition to the skin, the baby’s nail beds and lips may also appear blue.
- What is Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)? Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, is a method of cardiopulmonary bypass using a machine to do the job of the heart and lungs while the organs heal, or the infant waits on a transplant.
Talk to a Birth Injury Lawyer in Your State About Meconium Aspiration Syndrome
If your newborn suffered complications related to meconium aspiration syndrome, you may be eligible to hold their doctor liable and pursue a payout. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at 1-800-222-9529 to connect with a birth injury attorney near you.