Meconium is a thick and sticky greenish black substance that forms in
the intestines of a
fetus. It is produced as the fetus swallows and
digests the amniotic fluid inside the womb. When the baby is born, meconium is
the first stool the baby passes.
Most normal newborns pass the meconium within 48 hours after birth.
Some babies cannot pass the meconium because of a blockage in the intestines,
known as a meconium plug. In babies born with
cystic fibrosis, the intestines may become blocked
from excessive mucus production. Stuck meconium must be flushed out by an
enema. Sometimes the blockage is so severe that
surgery is needed.
If you have emphysema or chronic bronchitis, you know how miserable it feels when you catch a cold. After all, breathing is difficult enough with a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Not only does catching a cold worsen your ability to breathe and be active, but the cold virus increases your chance of getting a more serious respiratory tract infection. Here's what you should know to stay well.