Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1989 Nov;161(5):1106-10.

Meconium aspiration syndrome: intrapartum and neonatal attributes.

Author information

Perinatal Clinical Research Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital, OH.


To identify the fetus and newborn at risk for meconium aspiration syndrome the perinatal characteristics of 238 infants delivered through meconium-stained amniotic fluid were prospectively examined. All infants with meconium-stained amniotic fluid were routinely suctioned with a DeLee apparatus before tracheal intubation and suctioning. The type and presence of meconium in the trachea, neonatal breathing before intubation, and Apgar scores were recorded in the delivery room. Intrapartum fetal monitoring data were collected for 80% (190/238) of the mothers and umbilical artery pH for 74% (177/238) of the newborns. Despite suctioning with a DeLee apparatus and endotracheal suctioning, meconium was present in the trachea in 87/238 (37%) and meconium aspiration syndrome developed in 22 (9.2%). A total of 73% of newborns who had meconium aspiration syndrome were delivered through thick meconium. Thick meconium, the presence of fetal tachycardia, and absence of intrapartum fetal cardiac accelerations identified the fetus at high risk for meconium aspiration syndrome. The presence of these monitoring findings and thick meconium should alert obstetricians to the possibility of a fetus that requires intervention. Low umbilical artery pH, Apgar scores less than 5, and meconium in the trachea further characterized the newborn at high risk for meconium aspiration syndrome. The combination of these findings may best identify the infant delivered through meconium-stained amniotic fluid who requires close observation for meconium aspiration syndrome.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center