Assessing the condition of a child immediately after birth is an important part of determining whether additional emergent care is needed. After a baby is born, medical professionals evaluate the child’s activity, pulse, grimace, appearance, and respiration, and give each criterion a rating between 0 and 2, with 2 being the strongest. All five numbers are totaled and recorded one minute, five minutes and ten minutes after birth to allow the practitioner to assess the baby’s progress, and depending on the severity of the situation, scores can be recorded as late as twenty-five minutes after birth. Collectively, these numbers are known as an APGAR score, an acronym coined in 1952 by pediatric anesthesiologist Virginia Apgar.
APGAR scores are evaluated by the baby’s medical professional team: a score under 3 is deemed “critically low;” a score between 4 and 6 is thought of as “fairly low;” and a score from 7 to 10 is regarded as “normal.” Oftentimes, low APGAR scores are the first indication that something may have gone wrong during the labor or delivery process, which could manifest in any number of preventable birth injuries. A study out of Norway reported that children born with an APGAR score of less than 3 were over 100 times more likely to be diagnosed with cerebral palsy than babies born with a score of 10. Parents of children born with low APGAR scores should investigate to see if medical negligence was the cause of their child’s condition at birth.
The following reviews from our clients do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of another legal matter. The cases mentioned in the reviews are illustrative of some of the matters previously handled by Grant & Eisenhofer involving various areas of birth injury law. These reviews are endorsements.