Examination of the Newborn

When examining the newborn, you are trying to answer three questions:

1. How well is this infant making the transition to extrauterine life?

2. Is there any evidence of birth trauma?

3. Does this infant have any evidence of congenital malformations?

The newborn is assessed in the delivery room immediately after birth to determine the integrity of the cardiopulmonary system. The infant is dried with a towel and placed on a warming table, where the initial examination is conducted. Gloves are worn for this initial examination, because the newborn is coated with the mother's vaginal secretions and blood.

The initial examination consists of the evaluation of five signs:

1. Color

2. Heart rate

3. Reflex irritability*

4. Muscle tone

5. Respiratory effort

Dr. Virginia Apgar developed a scale for rating these signs 1 and 5 minutes after birth. The Apgar scale is shown in Table 24-2. Each of the signs is scored from 0 to 2. At 1 minute, a total score of 3 to 4 indicates severe cardiopulmonary depression, and the infant requires immediate resuscitative measures;a score from 5 to 6 indicates mild depression. The tests are repeated at 5 minutes;a score of 8 or more indicates grossly normal findings of the cardiopulmonary examination.

Getting Back Into Shape After The Pregnancy

Getting Back Into Shape After The Pregnancy

Once your pregnancy is over and done with, your baby is happily in your arms, and youre headed back home from the hospital, youll begin to realize that things have only just begun. Over the next few days, weeks, and months, youre going to increasingly notice that your entire life has changed in more ways than you could ever imagine.

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