Immediately after birth, a baby’s complexion, pulse rate, reaction when stimulated, muscle tone and breathing are assessed. According to Syracuse birth injury lawyer Michael A. Bottar, these assessment criteria form the APGAR score (which ranges from 0 to 10). Generally, APGAR scores are taken a 1, 5 and 10 minutes of life. A score of 7-10 is normal, a score of 4-6 is low, and a score of 3 or less is critically low.
A low APGAR score may be a sign of a birth injury or birth depression, which may give rise to a medical malpractice lawsuit if an OBGYN and/or nurse did not take appropriate steps to prevent fetal hypoxia (low oxygen) and/or ischemia (low blood flow). According to a recent study of more than 500,000 babies born in Norway, children born with an APGAR of 3 or less were 100 times more likely to be diagnosed with cerebral palsy by age 5 when compared to babies born with an APGAR of 10.
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect movement, cognitive function, vision, hearing and speech. About 2-3 children in 1,000 are affected. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. In the worst cases, children born with cerebral palsy will live their entire lives dependent upon others for every aspect of daily living. Typically, cerebral palsy is caused when insufficient oxygen reaches the fetus. Sometimes oxygen deprivation is preventable. Where a medical provider fails to prevent oxygen deprivation, a birth injury lawsuit may be necessary to secure compensation essential to providing lifelong medical care for a permanently disabled child.
If your baby was born with a low APGAR score and has been diagnosed with spastic cerebral palsy, was severely jaundiced at birth and has been diagnosed with athetoid cerebral palsy, or has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy following a failure to diagnose Rh disease, you may benefit from speaking with a Syracuse birth injury attorney at Bottar Leone, PLLC, a legal team with decades of experience investigating and prosecuting birth injury cases throughout the State of New York.
Contact us today at 1-800-336-5297 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.