Has your child suffered brain damage due to meconium aspiration at birth? Do you want your child to be compensated for his or her future medical expenses and cost of care?
Attorneys for Meconium Aspiration Brain Damage
$31,860,000 jury verdict for undiagnosed meconium aspiration syndrome – Brain damage and birth malpractice – Failure to perform timely Cesarean section based on distress and the presence of meconium resulting in meconium aspiration, which lead to mental retardation and seizures. (The Fitzgerald Law Firm Case # A01037)
For over 40 years, The Fitzgerald Law Firms have been committed to fighting for children with brain injuries. In the above meconium aspiration syndrome case, our birth injury lawyers represented a child who suffered mental retardation and seizures after swallowing meconium during delivery. During labor, medical personnel observed a small amount of meconium upon rupturing of the birth membranes. After this observation, fetal heart monitoring tracings showed occasional variable decelerations with dips in the heart rate down to the 90’s. Approximately 4 hours after the membranes ruptured, our client was born via a Cesarean section for an arrest at dilatation. At delivery, meconium aspiration syndrome was observed. Our client required intubation four times and nasal CPAP for the removal of the meconium.
The Fitzgerald Law Firms argued a failure to perform an earlier cesarean based on the variable heart decelerations and the presence of meconium caused the mental retardation and seizures. The jury agreed and awarded our young client $31,860,000.
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What is Meconium Aspiration Syndrome?
Meconium is the first feces (stool) of the newborn. It is thick, sticky, and greenish-black in color. Aspiration means the newborn inhales a mixture of the meconium and amniotic fluid, either in the uterus or just after delivery. Meconium aspiration (swallowing meconium) is also called meconium aspiration syndrome.
Causes and Incidence of Meconium Aspiration Syndrome
The possibility of inhaling meconium occurs in about 5-10% of births. It typically occurs when the fetus is stressed during labor, especially when the infant is past its due date. The condition is serious — meconium aspiration syndrome is a leading cause of severe illness and death in the newborn.
During a stressful labor, an infant may suffer a lack of oxygen. This can cause increased movement of the infant’s intestines and relaxation of the anal sphincter, causing meconium to pass into the amniotic fluid surrounding the unborn baby. The amniotic fluid and meconium mix to form a green-stained fluid of various thickness. Meconium itself is thick, sticky, and greenish-black in color.
If the infant breathes while still in the uterus or while still covered by this fluid after birth, the mixture of meconium and amniotic fluid can be inhaled into the lungs. The inhaled meconium can partially or completely block the infant’s airways. The infant has difficulty breathing.
As in the case above, when meconium is swallowed before birth, the fetal monitor may show a slow heart rate. If the fetal heart rate is slow, even variably so, and meconium is observed in the amniotic fluid when the birth membrane breaks, this is a sign of meconium aspiration syndrome. Because the treatment for meconium aspiration syndrome is suctioning, it is critical that the baby be delivered quickly.
For a free consultation about meconium aspiration syndrome and your child’s brain damage, please contact The Fitzgerald Law Firm. Call us at 1-800-323-9900 or submit the firm’s online contact form. We can help.