Q. How does meconium aspiration syndrome affect a newborn?

Answered by
Dr. Gunda Srinivas
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 20, 2016 and last reviewed on: Apr 24, 2019

Hi doctor,

My daughter born 7 days back is suffering from meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS). I would like to know, how we measure her growth of lung capacity.



Welcome to

In newborns measurement of lung capacity is not as useful as in adults.

Important clinical signs of respiratory effort, respiratory rate and the x-rays that had showed the meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS) and also the general condition of baby. These are the important parameters that show the improvement rather than just lung capacity.

Thank you doctor,

On HFO ventilation she has 100% saturation now which has improved from 40% on 1st day. Efforts are in progress to move her to conventional ventilator, but her saturation falls to around 85% in it within 2 hours. On 1st day she was administered surfactant to improve lung capacity. Her x-rays have shown over 50% improvement (it was whiteout on 1st day). I would like to know what additional measures can be taken to improve her lung capacity so that she sustains on conventional ventilator. She had shown severe PPHN as well 4 days back.



Welcome back to

I can make out that the medical team there is doing a great job for your baby.

Persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN) is a known complication of meconium aspiration syndrome, expected in such babies.Clinically too the baby's condition suggests PPHN. PPHN management is mainly ventilation with HFO (high frequency oscillatory ventilator). If not much improvement, some other group of medication can be tried depending upon baby's condition and the experience of the team.

Medications like pulmonary vasodilators - Sildenafil, Bosentan can be tried. But, they have their own complications and have to be used upon clinician's discretion and baby's condition. Please understand your baby's condition from the medical team's counseling and follow their advice. Wishing a speedy recovery of your baby!

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