Apgar Score, Respiratory Rate, Distress and Inability to Cry Helped with Chiropractic

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal and Family Health published a case study on November 5, 2012, documenting the improvement of an infant who was born suffering from Transient Tachypnea of Newborns (TTN), causing a high respiratory rate, and a lowered Apgar score.

According to the study authors, “Transient tachypnea of newborns (TTN) is a benign, self-limiting respiratory disorder presenting in the first 1-2 hours after delivery and usually resolving within 2 to 5 days of age.” TTN is defined by the authors as including an infant with a respiratory rate exceeding 60 breaths/min, nasal flaring, grunting, retractions, cyanosis, poor feeding, and a lowered Apgar score.

In this case, a newborn boy was born weighing 8.1 lbs. and measuring 21 3/8 inches. The labor and delivery were at home with a Certified Practicing Midwife (CPM) present. The birth occurred at 39 weeks 2 days of pregnancy, and the child was born vaginally with no medical interventions or surgical procedures. The delivery was natural without any complications.

At one minute after birth, the respiratory rate was 93 breaths per minute, with normal for a newborn being between 40 and 60. The study records that at two and a half minutes after birth, the baby was showing obvious signs of distress and was grunting, flaring nostrils, and making gurgling sounds. The baby’s Apgar score at 1 minute after birth was recorded at a 6 due to weak respiratory effort, bluish color, and grimacing reflex stimulation. Apgar scores are rated between 1 and 10 with 10 being optimal. It is considered a good normal to have an Apgar score between 8 and 9.

A chiropractor who was on site was asked to examine the infant for subluxations. Based on a pediatric chiropractic evaluation performed, the chiropractor determined that a subluxation was present at the upper cervical (neck) area and, with the consent of the mother, a specific form of chiropractic adjustment for an infant was performed.

At 10 minutes after the birth, and following the chiropractic adjustment, another examination was performed that showed the Apgar score had returned to a normal score of 9. Additionally, the respiratory rate had also lowered to 80 breaths per minute, and within one hour had lowered further to 74 breaths per minute. The report notes that at 12 hours after birth, the respiratory rate was at 60 breaths per minute and all other findings were within normal range.

The authors of the study summed up the success of a chiropractic adjustment in helping this infant by saying, “The case of a newborn diagnosed with Transient Tachypnea of Newborn is presented. Respiratory rate, Apgar score, and other signs of TTN improved dramatically following an upper cervical adjustment to reduce vertebral subluxation.”

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