Meconium aspiration syndrome - Symptom
MAS; Meconium pneumonitis (inflammation of the lungs)
- Bluish skin color (cyanosis) in the infant
- Breathing problems
- Difficulty breathing (the infant needs to work hard to breathe)
- No breathing
- Rapid breathing
- Limpness in infant at birth
Signs and tests:
Before birth, the fetal monitor may show a slow heart rate. During delivery or at birth, meconium can be seen in the amniotic fluid and on the infant.
The infant may need help with breathing or heartbeat immediately after birth, and therefore may have a low Apgar score.
The health care team will listen to the infant's chest with a stethoscope and may hear abnormal breath sounds, especially coarse, crackly sounds.
A blood gas analysis will show low blood pH (acidic), decreased oxygen, and increased carbon dioxide.
A chest x-ray may show patchy or streaky areas in the infant's lungs.
- Reviewed last on: 12/10/2009
- Kimberly G. Lee, MD, MSc, IBCLC, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. Review Provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Committee on Obstetric Practice, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACOG Committee Opinion No. 379: Management of delivery of a newborn with meconium-stained amniotic fluid. Obstet Gynecol. 2007;110:739.
ACOG Committee Obstetric Practice. ACOG Committee Opinion Number 346, October 2006: amnioinfusion does not prevent meconium aspiration syndrome. Obstet Gynecol. 2006;108:1053.
Greenough A. Respiratory disorders in the newborn. In: Chernick V, Boat T, Wilmott R, Bush A, eds. Kendig's Disorders of the Respiratory Tract in Children. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2006:chap 18.
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