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Complications After Birth

The final issue deals with babies who die or suffer severe damage because of events occurring after birth. One type of common error that continues to occur repeatedly is putting a critically ill newborn in the well-baby nursery. This happens for the most part because the pediatrician thought the child was healthy. This is not necessarily negligence unless the infant was blue and barely breathing.

The basis for making the decision on the baby's health is an assessment tool called the Apgar score. This assigns a numerical value of 0, 1, or 2 for each named sign. If all the signs are normal, the baby gets a score of 10. If the signs are absent, the score is O. A score of 8 or better requires no treatment. The doctor makes this assessment twice: at birth and at five minutes of life.
 
This table is a sample of the Apgar scoring tool. This assessment tool is the format generally used in hospitals. A score appears for each sign at one minute and five minutes after the birth. If there are problems with the baby, the doctor provides an additional score at ten minutes. A score of 8 to 10 is considered normal, while 4 to 7 might require some resuscitative measures, and a baby with Apgar of 3 or below requires immediate resuscitation.

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