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The Apgar Test: What Is It?


There is an average of 4 million babies that are born every year in the United States, reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Apgar test that is in place to diagnose the baby’s vital signs is performed to about 11,000 of those 4 million babies each year. This test serves as a method to show how well a baby handled the labor and delivery. This test was designed by Virginia Apgar.

The Apgar test is performed at two points during the babies life: at the first minute of life and then again at the five-minute mark. A third test will be conducted at the 10-minute mark if the baby is found to have low scores from the previous two test results. This test will serve to find out if the baby has any heart or breathing problems.

How is The Apgar Test Conducted?

There are five factors that are looked at in order to determine if the newborn is healthy or not. The test’s highest score is 10 with each category scoring a maximum of 2. Anything under a 7 is a cause for concern. The average babies score between a 7 and 9. If the baby scores below a 7, the baby should be examined further.

These are the following five categories that the doctors look at in the Apgar Test:

  • The heart rate of the baby: This is evaluated with a stethoscope. A score of 2 is given if the baby has a heartbeat of more than 100 beats per minute, a 1 if the baby has less than 100 beats per minute, and a 0 when there is no heartbeat.
  • The breathing pattern of the baby: A score of 2 is given when the baby is breathing well and crying, a 1 is given when the baby is breathing irregularly and slowly, and a 0 if the baby is not breathing.
  • The grimace of the baby: This is performed with a pinch that the doctor gives the baby. The baby receives a score of 2 when they cry or sneeze and grimace, a 1 when they grimace, and a 0 when there is no reaction at all.
  • The skin color of the baby: If the baby appears entirely pink, they will receive a score of 2, if the body is pink but the extremities are blue they will receive a score of 1, and if the baby is entirely pale blue they will receive a score of 0.
  • The muscle tone of the baby: A score of 2 is given if the baby actively moving, a score of 1 is given if they have some movement, and a 0 is given when the muscles of the baby are fluid and loose.

Medical Malpratice Attorneys

A newborn can endure catastrophic injuries if a physician fails to detect any problems the baby might have during labor and after delivery. If an inaction or negligent acts of a physician caused an infant to suffer injuries, the parents of the child can be eligible to file a claim against the physician. Contact a Miami medical malpractice attorney professional at Percy Martinez law Firm today. Contact them at (305)529-0001.

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