Mother holding newborn baby

What is the Apgar Score?

Apgar Explained

The Apgar score is a test given at birth for newborn babies. The test covers the baby’s muscle tone, heart rate, and more to assess if extra medical care is necessary for the baby. Usually, two tests are given to the baby— one directly after birth and the other 5 minutes after the first test. Another test may be required if the baby’s symptoms seem to decline.

What does Apgar stand for?

Apgar stands for the five things a doctor will check:

1. Appearance (skin color)

2. Pulse

3. Grimace response (reflexes)

4. Activity (muscle tone)

5. Respiration

These five categories are scored on a scale between 0 and 10. While 10 is the highest score a baby can receive, it’s rare for them to get it, mainly because a baby’s skin tone does not change within the first 5 minutes of birth.

What does my baby’s score mean?

A baby is considered in good health if they score a seven or higher on the test. If they score below a 7, there is no need to worry. It just means that your baby may need additional care. Even some of the healthiest babies can have a low score within a few minutes of their birth.

Mothers with high-risk pregnancies, c-sections, or early deliveries may give birth to babies with low Apgar scores. If your doctor or doula is concerned about your baby’s score, they will alert you immediately. If a child is given a low score and a doctor fails to care for them promptly, it could cost your baby their health. If this is the case for you, we may be able to help.

We can help.

Giving birth is one of the most amazing and miraculous things a person can do. Unfortunately, sometimes things can go wrong during the birthing process, which can lead to injuries for the child.

If you believe your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence, you should contact a birth injury attorney as soon as possible. Our experienced attorneys at Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC can help you investigate your claim and seek the compensation you deserve.

Call us at (502) 242-8872 or fill out a consultation request form to get in touch with one of our Birth Injury Attorneys today.

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