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Meconium

Dr .Ashraf Fouda Ob/Gyn. Consultant


Damietta General Hospital E. mail : ashraffoda@hotmail.com

INTRODUCTION
 The

detection of meconium stained amniotic fluid during labour often causes anxiety in the delivery room because of its association with increased perinatal mortality and morbidity. morbidity.

INTRODUCTION
 1. 2. 3. 

Meconium is composed of : Small dried amniotic fluid debris, Bile pigment and The residue from intestinal secretions. It is a sterile compound made up primarily of water (75 %), with mucous (75 glycoproteins, lipids and proteases.

INTRODUCTION
Although

meconium is sterile, its passage into amniotic fluid is important because of the risk of meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS) and its sequelae.

INTRODUCTION
Infants

delivered through meconiummeconium-stained amniotic fluid are more likely to be depressed at birth and to require resuscitation and neonatal intensive care. care.

INCIDENCE
 Meconium-stained Meconium-

liquor is rare in premature infants (<5 % of preterm pregnancies); if it does occur, there is an association with infection and chorioamnionitis.

INCIDENCE
 Passage

of meconium is increasingly common in infants >37 weeks' weeks' gestation and occurs in up to 50 % of post-mature infants ( >42 weeks). post>42  The incidence of MAS varies between 1 and 5 % of all deliveries where there has been meconium-stained meconiumliquor.

INCIDENCE
There are a number of factors associated with an increased risk of developing MAS; these include a: a: 1. Lack of antenatal care, 2. Black race, 3. Male fetus, 4. Abnormal fetal heart rate monitoring, 5. Thick meconium, 6. Oligohydramnios, 7. Operative delivery, 8. Poor Apgar scores, 9. No oropharyngeal suctioning and 10.The presence of meconium in the trachea.


AETIOIOGY  Many theories have been proposed to explain the passage of meconium in utero; however, the precise mechanisms remain unclear. unclear.  The fetal bowel has little peristaltic action and the anal sphincter is contracted. contracted.  It is thought that hypoxia and academia cause the anal sphincter to relax, whilst at relax, the same time increasing the production of

PATHOPHYSIOLOGY
aspiration syndrome is a disease of term and post-term infants postand its severity is linked to co-existing cofetal asphyxia.  Aspiration of meconium into the distal airways can occur either antenatally or postnatally, postnatally, but in the majority of affected infants the exact timing is not clear.
 Meconium

PATHOPHYSIOLOGY
is known to occur prior to delivery, as meconium delivery, has been found in the lungs of stillbirths and in infants delivered prepre-labour by caesarean section without evidence of fetal distress.
 Aspiration

PATHOPHYSIOLOGY
 Postnatal

inhalation

can occur late in the second stage or immediately after delivery if the infant gasps or makes breathing movements while the oropharynx, nasopharynx or trachea contains meconium-stained liquor. meconium-

PATHOPHYSIOLOGY
 Meconium

has a number of adverse effects on the neonatal lung, lung, which may ultimately lead to the respiratory failure (and hypoxaemia) which characterizes MAS.

PATHOPHYSIOLOGY
Meconium:
1. 2.

3.

Causes mechanical blockage of the airway, airway, Acts as a chemical irritant causing pneumonitis, alveolar collapse and cell necrosis Although initially sterile, predisposes to secondary bacterial infection

PREVENTION OF MECONIUM ASPIRATION SYNDROME


 Because

of potential morbidity and mortality from MAS, prevention would clearly be beneficial.  This has led to a number of antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal preventative therapies, therapies, with a varying degree of success.

Antenatal therapies
1. 2. 3.

Amnioinfusion Delivery by caesarean section Maternal sedation

Amnioinfusion
The idea behind amnioinfusion is that by increasing the liquor volume, meconium will be diluted.  In addition, in cases of oligohydramnios, the increased volume will prevent : 1. cord compression, 2. subsequent hypoxia, 3. fetal gasping and 4. passage of meconium. meconium.


Amnioinfusion
metameta-analysis of amnioinfusion trials showed that this therapy has a role in the prevention of MAS.  However, the use of amnioinfusion requires further evaluation, as the therapy is associated with a number of complications, including a higher incidence of instrumental delivery and endometritis. endometritis.
A

Delivery by caesarean section


most studies suggest that infants with MAS are more likely to be delivered by caesarean section than by vaginal delivery, this is largely due to the suspicion or confirmation of fetal distress.
 Although

Delivery by caesarean section


There is currently no evidence to suggest that MAS would be prevented by elective delivery by caesarean section of infants with meconium-stained liquor; meconium Perhaps this is not surprising, as neither 1. The conditions for nor 2. The timing of aspiration can be predicted. predicted.


Maternal sedation
 It

has been suggested that the administration of narcotics to laboring women will prevent fetal gasping in utero by suppressing fetal breathing. breathing.  Although there has been success in the prevention of MAS in animal models, models, there are no data to support this therapy in humans. humans.  Moreover, the likely maternal and neonatal complications would preclude its use .

Intrapartum/postpartum management

Oropharyngeal suctioning 2. Physical manoeuvres


1.

Oropharyngeal suctioning
of the oropharynx and nasopharynx before delivery of the shoulders and trunk is a wellwell-established practice that has been used since the 1970s. 1970s.
Suction

Oropharyngeal suctioning
seems reasonable that suctioning in this way would minimize the amount of meconium in the upper airway and thus reduce the amount aspirated during the onset of respiration.
 It

Oropharyngeal suctioning
 The

evidence relating to routine suctioning of the oropharynx as a preventative measure is conflicting.  What is clear, is that meticulous cleaning of the upper airway after delivery is beneficial in reducing MAS EVIDENCE l a

Physical manoeuvres


It has been suggested that MAS may be prevented if the infant is prevented from breathing after delivery. delivery.

Physical manoeuvres
advocated include: compression, 1. Thoracic compression, in which the thoracic cage of the infant is compressed by a healthcare professional in order to prevent respiration and subsequent aspiration of the contents of the upper airway, and 2. Cricoid pressure, in which external pressure, pressure is applied to the cricoid, thus preventing aspiration.
 Methods

Physical manoeuvres
 It

is suggested that if used, these interventions be continued until a second resuscitator undertakes oral and/or endotracheal suctioning.  There is no evidence supporting the use of either of these methods in preventing MAS.

Physical manoeuvres
fact, both Thoracic compression and Cricoid pressure are potentially dangerous and cannot be recommended
EVIDENCE IV
In

Postnatal intervention
Intratracheal

suctioning

Intratracheal suctioning
relatively recently, all infants with meconium-stained meconiumamniotic fluid underwent endotracheal intubation and suction, suction, as this was known to reduce the incidence of MAS.
 Until

Intratracheal suctioning
More

recently, evidence has suggested a change in practice depending on whether or not an infant is deemed vigorous.

Intratracheal suctioning
recent meta-analysis metasuggests that routine intubation of vigorous term infants in order to aspirate the lungs should be abandoned
A

EVIDENCE l a

Intratracheal suctioning


1. 2. 3.

Suctioning of the oropharynx may be beneficial, but endotracheal suctioning should be reserved for: for: Depressed or NonNon-vigorous infants or Those who deteriorate following initial assessment.

Aspiration of gastric contents


 Aspiration

of gastric contents to remove swallowed meconium is still done in many centers.  The passage of an orogastric tube is likely to cause apnoea and/or bradycardia and is potentially harmful.
 This

practice should be abandoned

EVIDENCE IV

Saline lavage
 Saline

lavage is used in order to loosen meconium.  Saline lavage is potentially harmful, harmful, as saline will displace endogenous surfactant, which could in turn worsen the respiratory illness. illness.  In cases where saline lavage has been used, infants developed respiratory distress secondary to 'wet lung'.

DELIVERY ROOM MANAGEMENT OF INFANTS BORN WITH MECONIUM-STAINED LIQUOR MECONIUM-

is important that a person experienced in neonatal resuscitation attends the delivery of all infants in whom thick meconium-stained liquor meconiumis noted, particularly if accompanied noted, by suspected fetal compromise.

 It

DELIVERY ROOM MANAGEMENT OF INFANTS BORN WITH MECONIUM-STAINED LIQUOR MECONIUM-

The Neonatal Resuscitation Program of the American Academy of Pediatrics incorporates guidelines for the management of these infants  If an infant is vigorous after delivery: 1. No tracheal suctioning should be undertaken, 2. Secretions should be cleared from the mouth and nose using a wide-bore suction catheter, wide3. Routine care should be given.


DELIVERY ROOM MANAGEMENT OF INFANTS BORN WITH MECONIUM-STAINED LIQUOR MECONIUM    1. 2.

However, if an infant is not vigorous afterbirth (defined as : depressed respirations, decreased muscle tone and/or heart rate < 100 beats per minute): Direct endotracheal suctioning should be undertaken as soon as possible, Suction should be applied for no more than 5 seconds and the tube withdrawn. withdrawn.

DELIVERY ROOM MANAGEMENT OF INFANTS BORN WITH MECONIUM-STAINED LIQUOR MECONIUM-

If meconium is aspirated from below the cords, the infant should be reintubated and the process repeated, repeated,  Unless the infant has a profound bradycardia, in which case: 1. Resuscitation should proceed with intermittent positive pressure ventilation (IPPV) without suctioning, 2. Further suctioning can be attempted at a later stage.


DELIVERY ROOM MANAGEMENT OF INFANTS BORN WITH MECONIUM-STAINED LIQUOR MECONIUM-

 1. 2.

If after the first suctioning no meconium is aspirated : No further suctioning should be attempted and The infant should be resuscitated using IPPV via an endotracheal tube.

IS MENONIUM PRESENT
NO YES SUCTION MOUTH,NOSE AND POSTERIOR PHARYNX AFTER DELIVERY OF HEAD BUT BEFORE DELIVERY OF SHOULDERS IS THE BABY VIGOROUS? YES CONTINUE WITH RESUSCITATION
 CLEAR MOUTH AND NOSE FROM

NO SUCTION MOUTH AND TRACHEA

SECRETIONS
 DRY,STIMULATE AND REPOSITION  GIVE OXYGEN AS NECESSARY

KEY POINTS
 Meconium-stained Meconium-

liquor is associated with increased morbidity and mortality in babies.  MAS is linked to perinatal asphyxia. asphyxia.  Good neonatal resuscitation skills reduce the incidence of MAS

KEY POINTS
In the prevention of MAS , there is no evidence supporting the use of: 1. Saline lavage, 2. Gastric aspiration or 3. Thoracic compression


KEY POINTS
The

evidence relating to routine suctioning of the oropharynx as a preventative measure is conflicting. Intratracheal suctioning should be reserved for the nonnon-vigorous baby. baby.