Early identification of meconium aspiration is essential to preventing severe aspiration problems. A technique called amnioinfusion is sometimes used during labor with meconium-stained amniotic fluid. This procedure uses a small tube inserted into the uterus through the vagina. Sterile fluid is infused through the tube to help dilute the thick meconium.
If meconium is present in the amniotic fluid, a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) delivery team will be called to the delivery.
At delivery, treatment may include:
- Suctioning of the upper airways (nose, mouth and throat)
- Suctioning of the lower airways through an endotracheal tube (ET) placed in the windpipe
- Supplemental oxygen given by face mask or mechanical ventilator
If the baby is active and crying, no treatment is needed.
In some cases the infant may be placed in NICU for close observation and further care.