Can a New York Baby with a Birth Injury Have Good Apgar Scores?


A: Apgar scores, while important, do not accurately reflect all potential birth injuries. Apgar scores, which are traditionally done at one minute after birth and again at five minutes after birth, measure five factors: heart rate, respiratory effort, reflex irritability, color and muscle tone. The scores are compiled by delivery room doctors, nurses or other personnel and are somewhat subjective.

Additionally, while the Apgar scores may be effective at determining whether an infant is in immediate danger and needs urgent medical care, the scores were not designed to be a diagnostic tool for all problems. For example, a baby who suffered oxygen deprivation during birth may have a normal score on respiratory effort. However, as the child grows, the effects of the oxygen deprivation may become apparent.

As a parent, it is normal to wonder about your child's Apgar scores and to feel relief when the scores come back close to the magic number of 10. However, it is also important to remember that, even with good Apgars, your child may have been injured during birth.

To learn more about birth injuries, please contact a New York medical malpractice attorney at the Pagan Law Firm at 1-800-PAGAN-911. Our New York medical malpractice lawyers are committed to helping your child and your family recover appropriate damages for birth injuries suffered as a result of medical malpractice.