It is a condition where baby skin turns pale blue. This occurs due to reduction of heamoglobin in blood. Haemoglobin is a blood protein that is responsible for carrying oxygen around the body and delivering it to the different cells and tissues. When the blood is unable to carry oxygen around the body, the baby turns blue or cyanotic.


The most common cause of blue baby syndrome is water contaminated with nitrates.

After a baby drinks formula made with nitrate-rich water, the body converts the nitrates into nitrites. These nitrites bind to the hemoglobin in the body, forming methemoglobin, which is unable to carry oxygen.

Nitrates are most common in drinking water in farming communities that use well water. This contamination is due to the use of fertilizers and manure.

Infants younger than 3 months are at highest risk for blue baby syndrome, but it can also occur in other populations.

  • Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF): TOF is a serious congenital heart condition causing four structural abnormalities in the heart that lead to a lack of oxygen in the blood. This condition can cause a baby to look blue, though it usually occurs at birth.
  • Other congenital heart abnormalities: Any congenital heart abnormality that affects the amount of oxygen in a baby's blood can cause their skin to turn blue.
  • Methemoglobinemia: This is due to exposure to inhaled nitric oxide, or certain anesthetics and antibiotics.


The most common symptom of blue baby syndrome is a blue discoloration of the skin around the mouth, hands, and feet. This is also known as cyanosis and is a sign that the child or person is not getting enough oxygen.

Other potential symptoms of blue baby syndrome include:

  • difficulty breathing
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • lethargy
  • increased salivation
  • loss of consciousness
  • seizures
  • In severe cases, blue baby syndrome can even cause death.


Treatment will vary depending on what is causing the baby to turn blue. If congenital heart disease is causing the discoloration, surgery may be required to correct the abnormalities.

A surgeon will usually operate before the baby turns 1 year old, ideally at around 6 months of age, or even a little earlier. Successful surgery means that the baby will start to get more oxygen and will no longer look blue.

If high nitrate levels in the water are causing blue baby syndrome, the doctor will likely need to consult with the local poison control center or toxicologist to help figure out the best way to treat the condition.

Avoiding the source of nitrate contamination, such as well water or tap water, is essential for all children with this condition.

Doctors may monitor children with a mild form of blue baby syndrome to make sure that they do not develop any further health problems as a result of the condition.

Children with a more severe form of the condition may need a medication called methylene blue, which a doctor will give as an injection.


ANTIMONIUM TART - Its use stimulates the oxidizing action of the circulatory system of the body. Child clings to those around; wants to be carried; cries and whines if any one touches it; will not let you feel the pulse (Ant. c, Sanic). FACE COLD, BLUE, PALE, COVERED WITH COLD SWEAT (Tab.). Tongue coated, pasty, thick, white, with reddened papillae and red edges; red in streaks; very red, dry in the middle; Vomiting: in any position except lying on right side; until he faints; followed by DROWSINESS AND PROSTRATION; of cholera morbus with diarrhoea and cold sweat, a dose after each attack (Ver.). Asphyxia: mechanical, as apparent death from drowning; from mucus in bronchi; from impending paralysis of lungs; from foreign bodies in larynx or trachea; with DROWSINESS AND COMA. GREAT SLEEPINESS OR IRRESISTIBLE INCLINATION TO SLEEP, with nearly all complaints (Nux m., Op.). Child at birth pale, breathless, gasping; asphyxia neonatorum. Relieves the "death-rattle" (Taran.).

CARBO VEG. - The body is cold and blue. The blood does not have sufficient oxygen. The patient desires more and more fresh air. This remedy arouses the oxidation process of the body. HIPPOCRATIC FACE; very pale, grayish-yellow, greenish, COLD WITH COLD SWEAT. Diseases of the venous system predominate; symptoms of imperfect oxidation. Deficient capillary circulation causes blueness of skin and coldness of extremities; vital powers nearly exhausted;

CUPRUM METALLICUM - Skin presents a bluish marbled picture. Hands are cold and there are cramps in the palms. Nausea. It also arouses the oxidation system of the body

CAMPHOR: Surface of body cold, face pale, blue lips livid; profound prostration. Surface cold to the touch yet cannot bear to be covered; throws off all coverings. Entire body painfully sensitive to slightest touch. Tongue cold, flabby, trembling. Sudden attacks of vomiting and diarrhoea; nose cold and pointed; anxious and restless; skin and breath cold.

VERATRUM ALBUM: Adapted to diseases with rapid sinking of the vital forces; complete prostration; collapse. Cold perspiration on the forehead with nearly all complaints. Face: pale, blue, collapsed; features sunkden, hippocratic; red while lying, becomes pale on rising up. Violent vomiting with profuse diarrhoea. Vomiting: excessive with nausea and great prostration: < by drinking.

LAUROCERASUS - Spasmodic tickling cough with valvular disease Lack of reaction.Dyspnea worse sitting up. Constriction of chest. Exercise causes heart pain

LECITHIN- Its use increases the number of red corpuscles and amount of haemoglobin