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Meconium Aspiration

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Birth Injury
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Hoffer v. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Verdict: On November 2, 2012, after a two week trial, a Philadelphia jury awarded 12.6 million dollars to a child who suffered severe brain injury due to the neglect of his health care providers. When his mother was 38 weeks pregnant, the baby had flipped around inside her, for the first time in a “breech” position rather than head down. The midwife diagnosed this during a routine visit, but failed to call a physician to attempt to externally turn the baby. Instead, she was discharged without care, and scheduled for a cesarean section.

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Award-Winning Philadelphia Birth Injury Attorneys

We Provide Legal Guidance and Representation

At The Beasley Firm, we prepare every case for trial. That means we conduct an in-depth investigation into the claims we take on. More than that, we provide legal guidance and representation that is founded on our record of success in birth injury cases. This approach has led to $2 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients since 1958. Our skilled Philadelphia birth injury lawyers are dedicated to helping children and parents who have suffered due to meconium aspiration. We are experts in medical litigation and work with medical professionals who can lend specific insights into conditions such as meconium aspiration and similar birth injuries. As a client of The Beasley Firm, you can expect open communication from highly experienced, passionate injury lawyers. We have tens of millions in birth injury settlement and verdicts and can use this expertise to help you secure justice.

Take the first step-call (215) 866-2424 today.

What Is Meconium?

Meconium is the name of the early feces or stool that is passed by a newborn shortly after birth. In some cases, a baby can pass this meconium while still in the uterus. When that happens, it usually means that the baby was under some kind of fetal distress and not getting enough blood or oxygen.

Risk Factors for Meconium Aspiration

Once the meconium has entered the amniotic fluid, the baby can breathe it into his or her lungs. If the baby has meconium in the lungs, it is called meconium aspiration and it could block the newborn's airways leading to a decrease in the amount of oxygen the baby can breathe in. These are some of the risk factors that could cause fetal distress and meconium:

  • Umbilical cord prolapse
  • Prolonged labor
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Diabetes in the mother
  • Post-date baby
  • Maternal high blood pressure
  • Difficult delivery
  • Placental abruption
  • Hyperstimulation of the uterus
  • Too many contractions in a short period of time
  • Infection

Preventing meconium in the amniotic fluid is important for a health birth, but sometimes health complications make it unavoidable.

Symptoms & Treatments Options

Once the obstetrician, nurse midwife, or nurse realizes that the baby had passed meconium while in utero, the next step is to prevent the baby from aspirating the meconium into the lungs. This could cause a lack of oxygen to a baby's brain and lead to conditions such as:

Once the baby's head is delivered, the doctor or nurse should suction out the newborn's mouth and nose with a bulb syringe or suction catheter. If the baby does not cry immediately after birth, a breathing tube may have to be inserted into the lungs to suction out any meconium that could be further down into the respiratory tract. Suctioning should continue until there is no more meconium to be removed. Even if all the meconium was suctioned out, the newborn could still develop respiratory or breathing problems and need a breathing tube or ventilator to maintain proper oxygen levels.

Recognized in Super Lawyers® List & The Best Law Firms

If your amniotic fluid was meconium-stained or your baby was delivered with meconium and now has developmental delays, brain damage or cerebral palsy, please contact one of our experienced Philadelphia birth injury lawyers. We provide free consultations. Our teams consist of doctors, neonatal intensive care (NICU) nurses, and delivery room nurses who have actually cared for women in labor and critically ill newborns. To date, we have obtained billions of dollars in awards on behalf of our injured clients and have two of the largest medical malpractice verdicts in Pennsylvania history. You can trust us leave no stone unturned on our mission to recover justice, compensation, and peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

Learn more about our approach, as well our contingency fees when you call The Beasley Firm at (215) 866-2424.

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Philadelphia, PA 19107
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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