APGAR Score Test Error

In the moments following your baby's arrival--usually at one minute and five minutes past the time of birth--your baby's appearance, responses, and other vital signals are checked in order to assess his or her health and help determine if further medical intervention is required. The score is tallied from five areas, each of which can be given a score between 0 and 2 (2 being the strongest rating) with a possible total of 10. Scores below 3 are generally considered critical, and those 7 and above normal.

Most hospitals use the APGAR test to evaluate the condition of newborns after birth, and determine if further medical attention is necessary. However, if your baby’s APGAR score was misread and a serious problem went undiagnosed, appropriate care may have been delayed, or you baby may have missed out altogether on critical medical care that could have prevented further problems from developing.

The APGAR test scores newborns in the following areas:

Appearance
Is your baby pink in color with a lack of bluish skin?
Pulse
Does your baby have a normal heart rate?
Grimace
Does your baby show adequate responsiveness?
Activity
Does your baby’s muscle activity appear normal?
Respiration
Is your baby breathing steadily without assistance?

Generally speaking, your OB, attending labor and delivery nurse, or midwife perform the test. In cases where a complicated delivery or fetal distress was anticipated, a neonatologist or NICU nurse (neonatal intesive care nurse) may be present and may provide their input regarding the APGAR score. Discrepencies in the score should be noted in the official records for the birth.

If your child suffered problems following birth and did not receive the care he or she needed, a medical professional involved in the birth may have misread one of the above tests. By reviewing your baby’s APGAR scores and the events of his or her birth, our birth injury lawyers can often determine if your child’s injuries could have been prevented.

Contact Our Pittsburgh Offices to Speak with Our Birth Injury Lawyers

If you are unsure whether or not your child has suffered a birth injury, please contact our Pittsburgh office to speak with our birth injury attorneys about your case. Our lawyers have the resources and experience to thoroughly investigate the birth of your child to determine if a medical professional’s actions led to a birth injury.