Severe meconium aspiration syndrome: case report

  • R Koigi-Kamau
  • EC Kungu


This is a case report on severe meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS) that resulted in early neonatal death. Antenatal care was provided at a low-cost non-governmental organization (NGO) clinic. First stage of labour lasted for only 2 hours and 45 minutes. There were no foetal heart rate abnormalities that were noted during the first stage of labour. Artificial rupture of membranes was done in second stage of labour. There was no liquor amnii seen but scanty thick old meconium was noted. Delivery was easy. The baby's skin, nails, umbilical cord, placenta and vernix were deeply stained yellow with old meconium. Resuscitation included suction through direct laryngoscopy, nasotracheal intubation with pulmonary toilet, as well as administration of 100% oxygen. The condition of the baby did not improve. A diagnosis of severe MAS with hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE), persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPH), persistent foetal circulation syndrome (PFCS) and meconium chemical pneumonitis was made. The baby was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) for assisted ventilation and critical care. The condition of the baby continued to deteriorate and demise occurred 18 hours after birth. The pathophysiologic processes of intrauterine meconium release, mechanisms of foetal effects and dilemmas in management are discussed.

The East African Medical Journal Vol. 83(8) 2006: 465-468

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