In Reply—Dr Carson and I agree that deaths from meconium aspiration are extremely rare events. I readily accept the fact that there were no deaths for eight years at her institution, where a suctioning protocol was utilized. I object, however, to the enhancement of these results by pointing out that deaths did occur at our hospital, where Dr Carson's routines and protocols were not employed. At Deaconess Hospital, Oklahoma City, three deaths were clinically diagnosed as resulting from meconium aspiration among 18 620 live births with infants weighing more than 2500 g. Of the newborns who had clinically diagnosed deaths from meconium aspiration, one death was confirmed at autopsy; one newborn had, instead, interstitial pneumonia at autopsy; and one newborn was not autopsied. There were no deaths associated with meconium among the 1950 live births that were the principal focus of the study.
Dr Carson and I may also be close