In Massachusetts, doctors and nurses give your baby his or her very first test in the moments after birth. The next one occurs about five minutes later. A third assessment may take place before leaving the delivery room if there are concerns about the baby’s condition. At Connell & Foresta, we often represent clients whose child sustained injuries at or near the time of birth. 

According to What to Expect, Dr. Virginia Apgar created the Apgar test in 1952. At the time, mothers often received anesthesia during delivery. Medical personnel used the test to determine whether babies needed resuscitation as a resultToday, delivery room staff use it as a measurement for how your baby is responding during the first minutes of life outside the womb. 

Apgar, while being the last name of its creator, is also an acronym for the following criteria: 

  • Appearance 
  • Pulse 
  • Grimace 
  • Activity 
  • Respiration 

Each of these criteria receives a score between zero and two. The higher the score, the better the baby is doing. The evaluation addresses skin color, heart rate, reflexes, muscle tone and breathing. Typical ratings for a healthy baby range between 7 and 10. By administering the assessment in the moments after birth, doctors and nurses can determine whether breathing is difficult or if the baby is having heart issues. Fluid may block the airways resulting in strained breaths and some babies need additional physical stimulation to boost their heart rate 

If your newborn’s injuries occurred as a result of negligent medical personnel or the facility conditions, you might have grounds for a claim. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.