Respiratory Problems Caused by Meconium Aspiration Syndrome
Unborn children have unique digestive systems compared to an adult. Fecal material is produced inside an unborn child’s intestines is known as meconium, which will be passed through defecation after birth. If a fetus undergoes stress or pressure in utero, meconium may be passed too soon, mixing with the amniotic fluid and causing health complications.
The most dangerous health complication caused by meconium in amniotic fluid is when the child breathes it in. Not long before birth and during delivery, the child will begin breathing regularly. If meconium has been mixed with the amniotic fluids, it will be inhaled into the lungs. This is known as meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS).
Indicators of MAS in a newborn include:
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle weakness
- Abnormal skin coloration, which is usually blue
Causes & Prevention for MAS
MAS can sometimes occur without warning, but it is usually linked to undue stress placed upon the mother or unborn child. Leading causes of MAS are believed to be strong infection and hypertension experienced by the mother, difficult or extended labor, and lengthy pregnancy. In understanding the causes of MAS, it is clear that many of them could be prevented with appropriate medical care.
An obstetrician is tasked with evaluating the health of a pregnant mother and her unborn child. Failing to diagnose symptoms that can cause MAS can constitute medical malpractice. For example, it is reasonable to expect that a mother would show symptoms of an infection. An obstetrician that prescribes safe antibiotics or other pharmaceuticals to address the infection would be acting responsibly, whereas one who took no action or did not notice the signs of infection at all would be negligent in their duty. Any harm caused to a child due to preventable MAS should be met with fair compensation given to the mother.
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There is never any acceptable reason for a medical provider to fail to give a pregnant mother and her unborn child the best possible standard of care. When this responsibility is ignored, such as when a child suffers from MAS that could have been alleviated before birth, Beam Legal Team can be there to provide unmatched legal representation. Throughout our many years of legal experience focused on birth injury cases, we have been able to secure numerous multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements for our clients. No one cares more about helping mothers, fathers, and their children find comfort again than us.
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