Recent Study Shows Connection Between Low Birth Vitality Score (APGAR) and Cerebral Palsy
There are many tests associated with birthing in America, one being the assessment of a newborn’s breathing, complexion, muscle tone, pulse rate and reaction when stimulated.
Apgar: A standardized rating system to identify early problems
After birth, all babies are evaluated based on these criteria and given a score from 1-10. It’s called the Apgar score, and researchers have recently discovered that babies who receive a low score are more likely to be diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy is a disorder that impairs the brain in a way that muscle coordination and movement are affected. Often, a birth injury or a premature birth can lead to the development of cerebral palsy.
Correlation between low Apgar scores and CP
In a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers found that babies who received a score of three to one on the Apgar scale had a 100 time greater chance of developing cerebral palsy than children who scored at a 10. Babies who score seven to 10 are considered in normal range, four to six is considered fairly low, and three or less critically low.
While babies scoring low had a larger chance of developing cerebral palsy, the study found that 90% of them did not actually develop the disorder. However, researchers reported that a low Apgar score could signal that a baby’s brain did not receive enough oxygen, or was impaired in some other way during pregnancy or delivery.
Possibility of oxygen deprivation at birth
A birth injury can occur when a baby does not receive enough oxygen during delivery, and physicians are not quick enough to respond to a low hearty rate or low oxygen levels. Some birth injuries are not severe while others cause life-long disabilities including cerebral palsy.