Throughout its development in the womb, a fetus experiences many physical changes. These changes are intended to help the baby get ready for birth. For example, the manner in which an infant breathes changes drastically after birth. And it is very important for the doctor and staff who are performing the delivery to monitor a baby's vital signs to be ready to take emergency measures in case complications with the infant's breathing arise.
One possible source of concern is a condition known as meconium aspiration syndrome. Also known as MAS, meconium aspiration syndrome can seriously affect a newborn's ability to breathe freely. It occurs when some of the infant's stool, which is a dark green substance called meconium, floats from the baby's intestines and into the lungs.
Prior to birth, the baby's lungs are filled with oxygen-providing amniotic fluid. During a period of stress, such as when the baby is being born, it is possible for the meconium to be released and move into the lungs, mixing with the amniotic fluid. If this should happen, the baby's ability to breathe could be severely impaired.
Therefore, it is incumbent upon the doctor and staff to watch the infant for signs of MAS, such as breathing issues, low blood pressure, limpness and cyanosis, which is a condition that causes a bluish skin tone. If the attending professionals fail to recognize and respond to the symptoms of MAS, the baby may not get the oxygen he or she needs and could subsequently suffer a brain injury.
If you believe that your baby has suffered a brain injury due to negligence on behalf of a doctor or other medical professional, you may want to take the matter up with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. An attorney can look at the baby's medical records and help you decide if you have the evidence necessary to file a lawsuit against the liable party or parties.