Q: A week ago I was discharged from a hospital. I had delivered my first child—a wonderful baby girl. Everything goes well, but my neighbor, having looked through papers from the hospital, frightened me. She told me that the baby’s Apgar Score was only seven out of ten. I didn’t even know what to say to her. Maybe I need a lawyer?
A: The Apgar Score is a scale from 1 to 10 that helps doctors to assess newborns’ overall physical condition. This score has been used since the beginning of the 1950s. It measures a newborn’s health condition on five criteria: appearance (the skin tone), pulse (heart rate), grimace response (reflexes), activity (muscle tone), and respiration (breathing rate and effort). Without going into details, I can say that babies who score 7 to 10 are considered to be in good health. A consultation with a lawyer would be recommended if your baby’s score was a 6 or below. In that case, a medical error during labor or delivery could be a cause of the poor physical condition of the baby.