Each hospital follows specific procedures after the birth of a child, and these procedures are significant in keeping your baby safe and healthy.
Many parents I’ve spoken with don’t know the signs of a possible birth injury to their child. When you aren’t a trained medical professional, it makes it much more difficult to identify a medical mistake that could have been prevented.
My duty as a birth injury lawyer and a father is to educate parents on the risks and signs of birth injuries.
The most common type of birth injury is brain injury due to lack of oxygen before or during delivery. Not only is this an immediate threat to the child’s life, but it may cause permanent consequences that will affect both the infant and the family.
It is for this reason the Apgar score must be done immediately after your child is delivered.
The Apgar score is used to determine your newborn child’s general birth condition. The test measures the following factors:
- Heart rate
- Reflex response
- Muscle tone
The test is done twice; the first time is 1 minute after birth and the second 5 minutes after birth. A conventional Apgar score is 7-10. A score between 4-6 typically means your child may need assistance breathing, and a score lower of 3 or less means the newborn needs immediate medical attention.
If your child’s Apgar score was low, a doctor may require an MRI to check for any cerebral injury. Additionally, if your newborn baby had an MRI or any known brain injury, I encourage you to contact an attorney immediately.
It is possible that your child can develop birth injuries months after birth varying from minor developmental or motor issues, to severe permanent injury such as Cerebral Palsy.
A low Apgar score, brain injury diagnosis, or delay in developmental milestones should all be red flags for parents. I urge you to always contact an experienced birth injury attorney for a consultation if you feel a doctor was negligent in your child’s birth.
Author: Tim Misny | For more than 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (800) 556-4769.