Monday, 11 October 2010

Low Vitality Score at Birth Linked to Higher Risk of Cerebral Palsy

A new study indicates that a low vitality score at birth could mean a high risk of being diagnosed with cerebral palsy later. The vitality or Apgar score is based on five criteria: the infant's pulse rate, complexion, reflex, breathing and muscle tone. The score is rated between 0 and 10. A score of between seven and 10 is considered normal, while a score of 4 to 6 is considered fairly low. A score of below three is considered critically low.

The researchers examined data relating to more than 543,000 infants born between 1986 and 1995. Out of these, 980 children were diagnosed with cerebral palsy before they reached their fifth birthday. The researchers found that children who had an Apgar score of less than three at the time of birth had a much higher incidence of cerebral palsy than those who had scored 10.

According to the researchers, their findings suggest that a low Apgar of less than four is possibly linked to brain impairment that occurs during delivery or pregnancy. However, the researchers caution that these findings must not be taken to indicate that all children with an Apgar of less than four will be diagnosed with cerebral palsy at some point in life. In fact, according to the researchers, most babies who are born with a low Apgar or vitality score actually recover and live a normal life. In fact, 90% of the children who scored less than four on the scale did not develop cerebral palsy.

Arizona medical malpractice lawyers
advise that children who are rated below three on the Apgar scale be watched closely for signs of brain damage. Cerebral palsy is typically diagnosed before a child is five years of age. This is a condition that is associated with muscle impairment and impairment of body movements.

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