Meconium Aspiration Syndrome
- Post-term delivery (delivery after 42 weeks of pregnancy)
- Cesarean delivery
- Abnormal heart rate during labor
- Reduced amniotic fluid
- Low or high birth weight
- Meconium below the baby’s vocal cords
- Low APGAR score after birth (assessment score of baby after birth)
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Respiratory disease
- Heart disease
- Heavily meconium stained amniotic fluid
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- Breathing that is too rapid or too slow
- Blue skin color due to lack of oxygen
- Nostrils that spread outward when breathing
- Reduced muscle tone or spontaneous movement
- A heart rate of less than 100 beats per minute
The doctor may need to see pictures of your baby’s chest. This can be done with:
- Chest x-ray—to look for changes caused by meconium aspiration
- Echocardiography—to look for changes in heart function caused by meconium aspiration
The doctor may also need to measure the level of oxygen in the blood. This can be done with:
- Pulse oximetry
- Blood tests
- Manage chronic conditions. This includes high blood pressure, diabetes, respiratory disease, and heart disease.
- If you smoke, quit.
American Academy of Pediatrics http://www.healthychildren.org
Canadian Paediatric Society http://www.cps.ca
Meconium aspiration. KidsHealth.org website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/lungs/meconium.html#a%5FPrevention . Updated October 2011. Accessed December 10, 2012.
Meconium aspiration. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital website. Available at: http://www.lpch.org/DiseaseHealthInfo/HealthLibrary/hrnewborn/mecasp.html . Accessed December 10, 2012.
Meconium aspiration. University of Rochester Medical Center website. Available at: http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/Encyclopedia/Content.aspx?ContentTypeID=90&ContentID=P02384 . Accessed December 10, 2012.
Meconium aspiration syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/ . Updated August 24, 2012. Accessed December 10, 2012.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 09/30/2013