Meconium-stained amniotic fluid – what is the evidence?
Meconium is rarely passed into the amniotic fluid before 34 weeks although it is present in the fetal gut from as early as 10 weeks. The passage of meconium into the amniotic fluid is a feature of advancing gestational age and reflects physiological maturation of the fetal gut. Certain specific maternal and fetal disorders may be associated with the passage of meconium into the liquor amnii. Opinions regarding the significance of meconium-stained liquor detected during labour have varied although
there is consensus that meconium aspirated into the lungs of the neonate may lead to meconium aspiration syndrome. The efficacy of various interventions designed to prevent meconium aspiration syndrome are discussed.
Key words: Meconium; Aspiration; Evidence; Prevention