Can Meconium Aspiration Cause Brain Damage?

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Meconium aspiration is something that is usually not dangerous for a baby, but it can cause severe problems in some instances, including death and brain damage. The chances of the baby inhaling meconium before, during or after the delivery process is about 5% to 10%. Usually, it is something that will occur if the baby is stressed during delivery.

If a baby is believed to have inhaled meconium, doctors should suction the baby’s mouth as soon as it can be seen. If there are signs of fetal distress or thick meconium staining, further treatment will be necessary.

If-there-are-signs-of-fetal-distress-or-thick-meconium-staining-further-treatment-will-be-necessaryIn some instances, a tube will need to be placed in the infant’s trachea so that suction can be applied. This will be repeated until meconium no longer appears in the contents that is suctioned. Special care of the baby may also be necessary.

For example, the baby is likely to be placed in the nursery or intensive care unit if an infection is detected. The baby may also need to be placed on a machine to help them breathe or to keep them warm. If the baby appears to be healthy, a saline solution is sometimes used to help wash the airway.

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