An Apgar score is used to make a quick assessment of a newborn child’s health soon after birth to determine if special attention is needed. Low Apgar scores are an indicator that the child may have suffered or is suffering from birth injuries and needs close monitoring and medical care.
If your child was given a low Apgar score and is suffering from birth injuries with lifelong implications, it is important that you speak with a birth injury lawyer in order to investigate the matter further for signs of negligence or malpractice. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is a law firm dedicated to serving the interests of clients throughout Illinois and has a team of birth injury attorneys who specialize in cases that involve medical malpractice at the time of birth.
How is an Apgar Score Determined?
Within the first minute of a child’s life, he or she is evaluated in five categories and may receive a total score as high as ten or as low as zero. Children with very low scores need to be resuscitated and then monitored for continued signs of distress. The scores are then taken again at five minutes and in the event a child still has a low score, he or she may be reevaluated every five minutes. The five categories that are evaluated are the following.
- Heart rate
- Respiratory function
- Skin tone
- Muscle tone
- Reflex irritability
Low scores are consistent with high death rates and severe birth injuries such as developmental or neurological problems and cerebral palsy.When Should I Talk to an Attorney About a Low Apgar Score?
If your child was given a low Apgar score, you will want answers about the treatment that was given throughout your pregnancy and delivery and whether everything possible was done to prevent birth injuries. A birth injury lawyer can review your medical records to determine if an act of negligence or malpractice contributed to your child’s injuries or condition. No parent should need to endure the emotional and financial burden that accompanies raising a child with severe developmental or neurological disorders and it is important that you have someone working on your behalf to secure the compensation needed to provide for your child’s care.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers’ team will be happy to collect and examine your medical records in order to determine whether your doctor deviated from the standard of care and if you have a claim for medical malpractice. We are happy to do this free of charge and don’t require payment until we have successfully collected compensation for you by winning your case or negotiating a settlement. Contact us today to speak with a birth injury attorney and to arrange a free consultation to learn more about your legal options and what you can expect from the process.