It takes time for the parents of a new baby to note a lag in its development. Yet such parents can eventually detect the signs of cerebral palsy, if those are present. Once those signs have been detected, the pediatrician should be consulted, in order to obtain help from an expert.
Once an expert has been contacted and seen, parents with an affected baby might think about what could have caused the child’s condition. Science has linked that condition to lack of an adequate amount of oxygen at birth. That lack of oxygen produces a state of hypoxia. Fetal hypoxia can cause the symptoms associated with cerebral palsy.
Can the existence of hypoxia be tested for in the delivery room?
There are 2 ways to test a new born infant for evidence of a marked deviation from a baby’s normal features. Such a deviation could be evidence of hypoxia. One such test involves taking a sample of blood from the fetal umbilical artery. That procedure should get carried out on a routine basis in a delivery room.
Once the blood sample has been obtained, a testing procedure gets used, in order to determine the pH of that same sample. Blood from the umbilical cord of a healthy infant has a pH of 7.35. If the tested sample has a pH lower than 7.35, immediate action should be taken. A deficiency of oxygen can trigger the development of brain problems.
The nurses and doctors in the delivery room also check a new infant’s APGAR score. That scoring system was created by a physician that devoted her life to studying the various conditions that can endanger the life of a new baby. Her name was Dr. Virginia Apgar.
Dr. Apgar noted that the infant’s appearance, pulse rate, grimace, activity and respiration should all be noted, as each of them could serve as evidence of a baby’s good or poor health. The medical community realized that the first letter from each of the features mentioned by Dr. Apgar (appearance, pulse, grimace, activity and respiration) could be combined to produce the doctor’s last name: APGAR.
A baby with an Apgar score of 10 should be in perfect health. An infant with a score that falls below 6 for more than 5 minutes needs immediate intervention. The administration of added oxygen would almost certainly be part of any added intervention.
The failure to carry out either of the tests could get pointed to as an example of medical malpractice. Consequently, any couple whose child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy would have reason for consulting a Personal Injury Lawyer in Amherst. That couple would have grounds for charging their obstetrician failing to practice in an acceptable and professional manner.