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Doctor insights on: Meconium Plugs

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Meconium Plugs (Overview)

Meconium is the medical term for the first few stools of a newborn infant. Meconium plugs in the GI tract can lead to intestinal obstruction and cause symptoms such as vomiting or failure to pass stool.


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Can a meconium plug in an infant be an isolated incident? Or is it always associated with some other underlying issue?

Can a meconium plug in an infant be an isolated incident?  Or is it always associated with some other underlying issue?

Word definitions: To be more specific, all infants have a little plug that passes with the initial meconium.Occasionally the plug and some meconium passes before birth as a sign of stress.Meconium ileus is a condition where the meconium is so thick and sticky that it blocks all stool passage and can be a sign of cf. My state state screens for CF as part of its newborn screening program but not all do. ...Read more

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Meconium Plugs (Overview)

Meconium is the medical term for the first few stools of a newborn infant. Meconium plugs in the GI tract can lead to intestinal obstruction and cause symptoms such as vomiting or failure to pass stool.


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Should I be worried about intestinal tears if my kid has a meconium plug?

Should I be worried about intestinal tears if my kid has a meconium plug?

No: Most babies pass the meconium plug without intestinal tears. However, having a meconium plug is associated with other problems such as hirschsprung's disease (abnormal colon) and cystic fibrosis. Make sure your doctor knows about his meconium plug and any other symptoms he may have to make sure he doesn't have these diseases or other complications. ...Read more

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Is meconium plug syndrome only associated with cystic fibrosis?

Is meconium plug syndrome only associated with cystic fibrosis?

No: Meconium plug syndrome, as opposed to meconium ileus, is not necessarily associated with cf. It can occur with hirschsprung's disease. It is usually self-limited, however, and clears with a contrast enema undertaken to establish the diagnosis. If the baby stools normally after initial evacuation, additional work-up is usually not necessary. ...Read more

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My baby was born 4 weeks early and had a meconium plug that didn't pass till hour 57. Cystic fibrosis has been ruled out. What are the chances it's hirschsprungs? Or could it just be chance?

Likely it's chance: CF is one of the causes of meconium plug, but mostly it's a random happenstance. Ruling out CF is important. As long as your child is starting to have normal stools now, and they are fairly regular, it's very unlikely it's hirschsprungs. Generally anal stenosis, hirschsprungs, or other forms of obstruction would cause chronic constipation. If your child is stooling normally, i'd go with it. ...Read more

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Is it possible for my baby to have a meconium plug without any underlying health issues? All his newborn screening tests came back normal. Plus, he stools on his own.

Is it possible for my baby to have a meconium plug without any underlying health issues?  All his newborn screening tests came back normal.   Plus, he stools on his own.

Word definitions: To be more specific, all infants have a little plug that passes with the initial meconium.Occasionally the plug and some meconium passes before birth as a sign of stress.Meconium ileus is a condition where the meconium is so thick and sticky that it blocks all stool passage and can be a sign of cf. My state state screens for CF as part of its newborn screening program but not all do. ...Read more

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Can a baby die from meconium aspiration?

Can a baby die from meconium aspiration?

Not usually: Theoretically possible. However, the common scenario is the other causes coexisting, and causing meconeum, such as chronic fetal distress, placenta insufficiency, etc. Actually harm the baby and lead to death. ...Read more

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What are the tests for meconium aspiration?

What are the tests for meconium aspiration?

Diagnose MAS: Diagnosing meconium aspiration syndrome requires: 1) meconium stained amniotic fluid 2) respiratory distress at delivery or shortly after. 3) characteristic chest x ray findings. 4) if infant is intubated, meconium is see in the trachea. ...Read more

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What are common symptoms of meconium aspiration?

What are common symptoms of meconium aspiration?

Respiratory symptoms: Nasal flaring, grunting retractions and increasing need for oxygen or artificial ventilation. ...Read more

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How far back does meconium go back during a tox screen?

How far back does meconium go back during a tox screen?

Months: The meconium is the byproduct of months of internal digestive work.Drug exposures during the pregnancy may be gone from urine if mom has not been exposed in a week or so, but meconium can preserve the material for months. ...Read more

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How long does it take to get marihuana out of babys meconium?

How long does it take to get marihuana out of babys meconium?

months if ever: The meconium begins to form at 12 weeks and may carry traces of discarded debris for months. The higher the exposure the more likely the material would show up on the gas chromatograph used for testing. ...Read more