Meconium Aspiration Syndrome

Meconium is the first feces (stool) of a newborn. It is dark green material that is produced by the intestines of a fetus before birth and, in the ordinary course, is expelled after a newly delivered baby begins feeding.

However, in response to stress, such as a delivery complication or birth trauma due to medical malpractice, a fetus may begin passing meconium into the amniotic fluid during delivery. At the same time, a fetus under stress may also be taking deep breaths of amniotic fluid to compensate for low oxygen (asphyxia). If the amniotic fluid is filled with meconium, a fetus will be fetus breathing meconium-filled amniotic fluid into its lungs.

Meconium breathed into the lungs can cause many severe complications, including:

  • blocking air from reaching the lungs;
  • preventing air in the lungs from being expelled;
  • accumulation of air around the lungs (pneumothorax);
  • lung inflammation (pneumonitis); and
  • persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN).

Meconium-related complications can be visible at birth, however the full-affects of meconium aspiration may not be apparent for 24-48 hours and, in turn, doctors and hospitals may not make an appropriate birth trauma diagnosis for several days, if ever. Prolonged respiratory distress can cause severe brain injury and neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy.

The trial lawyers at Bottar Law, PLLC, have decades of experience investigating, prosecuting and trying to verdict medical malpractice and birth injury cases.  If you or your baby have been injured due to medical malpractice, you, your child and your family may be entitled to compensation for lifelong health care, medical expenses, special education, medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. 

To discuss your case or concerns with an experienced Central New York medical malpractice and birth injury attorney, contact us now at (315) 422-3466, (800) 336-LAWS, or by e-mail at