Can You Sue for Low Apgar Score? Find Out Inside
The few minutes after the birth of a child are vital as they will determine if the baby will survive, if they were born healthy, and what doctors must do in order to save the baby’s life if something is catastrophically wrong. Checking on the baby’s vitals and reflexes periodically is therefore a great and accurate way of determining the overall health of the baby. In 1952, an underappreciated and frustrated female anesthesiologist named Dr. Virginia Apgar created a score which would better help other physicians determine the health of the baby just by observing a number of vitals. If the Apgar score is critically low, doctors can then take preemptive measures to save the life of the child or prevent complications from leading to conditions such as cerebral palsy. Failure to take down a child’s Apgar score can therefore lead to said complications, and it is essentially a sign of negligence and consequently, medical malpractice for which you have the right to sue for in order to compensate your child and help him or her live a normal life going forward.
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Here are the medical factors that determine an Apgar score:
- Heart rate
- Grimace response
- Muscle tone and activity
Each factor is rated from 0 to 2, but all the factors are then added together in order to come up with a score whose maximum is 10. Apgar scores are taken just a minute after the birth of a child, and then five minutes later. Once they are added together, doctors have a good idea of the vitality of the child or if they need to intervene.
A low Apgar score of 1 to 3 is a sign that there is something crucially wrong with the child, and anything from 7 to 10 is a sign that the baby is normal, and that their vitals are working as they should.
Here are some of the things that may cause a low Apgar score
- Baby’s prematurity
- Prolonged delivery or labor
- The overuse of epidural or anesthesia on the mother
- Meconium or fluid in the child’s lungs causing oxygen deprivation
- A congenital condition which was not picked up during prenatal visits
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If your baby was born with a low Apgar score, suspect negligence, and medical malpractice. Need help with filing an official legal claim? Please call (773) 825-3605 NOW for your FREE legal consultation. We look forward to helping you.