Blue Baby’s Syndrome- Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

The blue baby syndrome is also known as newborn child methemoglobinemia in which a baby’s skin turns blue. This is because of a reduced amount of hemoglobin in the blood of a baby.

Hemoglobin is a blood protein that is in charge of bearing oxygen the body and transporting it to the diverse cells and tissues. At the point when the blood can’t bear oxygen the body, the baby turns blue (cyanotic).

The blue baby syndrome is uncommon in industrialized nations, yet it does once in a while happen in villages and rural areas. Babies conceived in developing nations with poor water supply are in danger of the condition.


The most widely recognized reason for the blue baby syndrome is water with nitrates.

After a baby drinks nitrate-rich water, it is changed into nitrites from nitrates. These nitrites tie to the hemoglobin in the body, shaping themselves as methemoglobin, which can’t convey oxygen.

Nitrates are most regularly found in rural areas where they use well water. This is because of the utilization of organic and inorganic fertilizers.

Newborn children which are younger than 3 months are at the most astounding danger for the blue baby syndrome, however, it can likewise happen in different populations too.

Individuals in danger for methemoglobinemia incorporate grown-ups with:

  • a hereditary inclination
  • ulcers or gastritis
  • kidney failure requiring dialysis

Different conditions that can make a baby seem blue include:

  • Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF): TOF is a condition described by the four auxiliary irregularities in the heart that prompt an absence of oxygen in the blood. Due to this, a baby may look blue and this usually happens as a newborn.
  • Other inborn heart variations from the norm: Any inherent heart irregularity that influences the amount of oxygen in a baby’s blood can make their skin turn blue.
  • Methemoglobinemia: This is because of exposition to nitric oxide, or certain sedatives and anti-toxins.

Side Effects

The most well-known manifestation of the blue baby syndrome is a blue staining of the skin around the mouth, hands, and feet. This is otherwise called cyanosis and is an indication that the tyke or individual isn’t getting enough oxygen.

Other potential side effects of the blue baby syndrome include:

  • difficulty in relaxing
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • lethargy
  • increased salivation
  • seizures

In serious cases, the blue baby disorder can even be one of the reasons for the baby’s demise.

Distinguishing the Condition

There are a few signs by which a baby can be distinguished just like a blue baby:

  • Baby’s lips and fingers are blue
  • Even if the baby is warm, this bluishness holds on
  • Breathing trouble
  • Baby has quick breathing or the chest is climbing and down with every breath
  • Uncontrolled crying
  • Baby is exceptionally chilly
  • Any other imperfection in the baby
  • If your pediatrician is offering oxygen to the kid, hearing an unusual heart sound (mumble), no proper pulse rate or your baby is in a state of shock.

Cyanotic Heart Disease can introduce itself in the older babies also. The signs in such cases are:

  • Usually, bluishness begins by 2-3 months of age
  • Initially, cyanosis shows up when the baby is crying and getting irritated by having motions; in the later stages, bluishness is always individually observed.
  • Baby is not able to walk properly and takes rest by sitting down in a squat position
  • Gets feeble or lazy or has fits after a delayed effort of crying
  • Fingertips get swollen. Medicinally this is called as ‘Clubbing’
  • Suffers from fever, migraine and so forth
  • Has joint pain


A specialist may speculate that a newborn child has blue baby syndrome amid a customary checkup. Guardians or parental figures who see a somewhat blue staining should plan a meeting with a specialist.

The specialist will start the analysis by taking a careful therapeutic history by getting some information about any side effects, nourishing examples, and the conditions at home. They will then play out a physical exam, taking a look at the blue color stained areas and having a look at the heart and the lungs.

Other tests may include:

  • blood tests
  • chest X-beams to take a look at the lungs and heart
  • echocardiogram to take a look at the heart and how well it is functioning
  • oxygen immersion to decide how much oxygen is in the blood
  • cardiac catheterization to directly take a look at the veins and structures inside the heart

By and large, water with nitrate levels beneath 10miligrams for each liter (mg/L) is viewed as protected. In the event that a water test has nitrate levels over 10mg/L, don’t offer it to a newborn child.


contingent upon what is making the baby turn blue. In the event that innate coronary illness is causing the discoloration, the medical procedure might be required to amend the variations from the norm.

A specialist will for the most part work before the baby turns 1 year old, in a perfect world at around a half year of age, or even somewhat prior. Fruitful medical procedure implies that the baby will begin to get more oxygen and will never again look blue.

In the event that high nitrate levels in the water are causing blue baby disorder, the specialist will probably need to counsel with the neighborhood poison control focus or toxicologist to enable make sense of to the most ideal approach to treat the condition.

Maintaining a strategic distance from the wellspring of nitrate sullying, for example, well water, is fundamental for all children with this condition.

Specialists may screen children with a gentle type of blue baby disorder to ensure that they don’t build up any further medical issues because of the condition.

Children with a more extreme type of the condition may require a solution called methylene blue, which a specialist will give as an infusion.


The blue baby syndrome is an uncommon condition that happens when babies drink water that has been made with abnormal amounts of nitrates.

Consequently, it is basic to abstain from giving newborn children water from a well to the point that they turn one year. Prescription and observing the baby can typically keep away any confusions. Left untreated, in any case, the blue baby syndrome can be dangerous.

Most children with blue baby syndrome go-ahead to carry on with a typical and healthy existence without enduring any complications.


Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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