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J Obstet Gynaecol. 1999 May;19(3):262-4.

Meconium-stained amniotic fluid in term pregnancies-a clinical view.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Jordan University of Science and Technology and Princess Badeea Teaching Hospital, Irbid.


The objective of this study was to explore details of the clinical relationship between meconium-stained amniotic fluid (MSAF) in labour, abnormal fetal heart pattern and meconium aspiration (MA). This was a prospective study carried out in Princess Badeea Teaching hospital during a 6-month period from March to September 1997. During the study period 344 (8.5%) of the deliveries had MSAF (344 women). Continuous fetal heart monitoring was routinely used and 36 women with MSAF (10.5%) needed to be delivered by caesarean section because of fetal distress (diagnosed by abnormal fetal heart pattern) in early labour, compared with 0.95% in those with clear amniotic fluid (CAF), (P <0.00001). Many infants in the MSAF group had a low Apgar score and required ventilation at birth. Nineteen infants (5.5%) developed MA, three of whom (15.8%) died. We conclude that there is an association between MSAF, abnormal fetal heart pattern in labour and a low Apgar score and that it should be considered a high risk situation. MA a problem that occurs with particulate meconium was significantly related to abnormal fetal heart pattern and longer length of labour.

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