Meconium aspiration syndrome, or MAS, is a respiratory condition that newborns may develop, so parents in New Mexico will want to be aware of it. Meconium is the early stool that babies pass before they start to drink milk or formula. Sometimes, problems with the placenta or umbilical cord can indirectly cause babies to pass meconium while still in the uterus. That stool then mixes with the amniotic fluid and could be inhaled into the lungs.

Inhalation of meconium can occur before, during or immediately after delivery. This can lead to inflammation of the lungs and a blocking of the airways. Symptoms of MAS can include noisy or rapid breathing, apnea, limpness and a bluish skin color. Fortunately, MAS rarely leads to long-term health effects like lung damage. Problems with breathing or nutrition tend to go away after several days.

If doctors find traces of meconium in the amniotic fluid, a special team may be brought in during delivery to intervene. The team may, for example, dry and stimulate the baby so that the baby begins to breathe independently. Sometimes, using a ventilator may be necessary.

MAS is more likely to arise in mothers who have diabetes or high blood pressure. A long labor or difficult delivery can also raise the risk for it.

Sometimes, medical professionals may not do all that’s possible to prevent or treat MAS. If it leads to severe birth injuries, then parents may be able to file a malpractice claim. Some malpractice claims end in the highest settlements in the field of personal injury law, so filing a claim is not a process to be taken lightly. A lawyer may assist with every step, such as hiring investigators to gather evidence that the defendant failed to uphold objective standards of medical care.