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Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

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Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

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Meconium Aspiration Syndrome – Overview

Meconium is the first stool (feces) of a newborn. While babies normally pass meconium very soon after birth, sometimes meconium is passed while the baby is still in the uterus which can result in breathing problems called Meconium Aspiration Syndrome (MAS).

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Whether or not your child will suffer the complications of meconium aspiration can depend on how your labor and delivery is handled by medical staff.

While in some cases aspiration of meconium may be unavoidable even if mother and baby are properly monitored, and all steps are taken to reduce the likelihood of MAS, other cases may occur because of medical provider negligence.

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MAS and Negligence

A baby typically passes meconium while still in the womb because of stressors like oxygen deprivation or low blood pressure. Oxygen deprivation can occur if the umbilical cord is compressed or if the labor and delivery was difficult or prolonged, and various other circumstances including maternal health. Meconium aspiration can also occur after birth if there is meconium in the amniotic fluid that is covering the baby. Your medical team should suction clean the baby's airways, mouth and nose immediately following birth to prevent aspiration.

Even if there is meconium in the amniotic fluid, a baby who is born pink skinned, crying and active will not require treatment. However, if the baby is born struggling to breathe, has bluish skin, and is not active or is limp, medical staff must begin treatment protocols such as oxygen support, antibiotics, and in severe cases, a ventilator.

Long Term Effects of MAS

Often, there are no long-term effects of aspiration of meconium, but the oxygen deprivation that is associated with it can cause severe complications include brain damage, cerebral palsy, and Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE).

If you believe your baby suffered a birth injury from aspirating meconium, please contact us as soon as possible to learn more about the options that may be available to you.