Status Signals from Newborn Babies
Newborns take their first breath at around ten seconds of birth. The first breath occurs after the newborn nose and mouth have been aspirated to remove mucus. A newborn’s first breath affects the circulatory system by stimulating the newborn from the fetal to neonatal circulatory (Elshazzly et al., 2022). The first breath causes circulatory reconfiguration by decreasing lung pressure, decreasing resistance to blood flow through the pulmonary system, and increasing the lung capacity to an almost full capacity. The decrease in blood pressure reverses blood flow temporarily through the foramen ovale. The shunt is blocked by two tissue flaps which fuse over the shunt in one year. The foramen ovale forms a fossa ovalis. The circulatory system increases the concentration of oxygen, which causes constriction of the ductus arteriosus to form ligamentum arteriosus. The newborn’s lungs pump oxygenated blood to the pulmonary circuit. A newborn first independent breath impacts body systems such as the circulatory system, respiratory system, gastrointestinal system, and genitourinary system (Elshazzly et al., 2022).
Medical professionals use the APGAR score to determine a newborn’s physiologic condition at one and five minutes after birth. APGAR score at one minute determines the newborn’s tolerance to the process of birth, while the score at five minutes determines the newborn well-being outside the mother’s womb (Simon et al., 2022). Medical professionals use the APGAR score to examine a newborn’s skin appearance, breathing, reflexes, muscle tone, and heart rate. A newborn’s score guides medical professionals on necessary interventions for the newborn. A newborn with a score between zero and three needs increased interventions, such as breathing assistance (Simon et al., 2022). A score above seven shows a healthy newborn who requires minimum monitoring.
Elshazzly, M., Anekar, A. A., Shumway, K. R., et al. (2022). Physiology, Newborn. StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499951/.
Simon, L. V., Hashmi, M. F., & Bragg, B. N. (2022). APGAR Score. StatPearls Publishing.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470569/.
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Reflect on the body systems that you have learned about throughout the course and how they change and develop throughout our lives.
When newborns take their first breath impacts the circulatory system. Why do you think this might be? What other systems might be impacted by this first independent breath?
How does obtaining an Apgar score provide quick information to medical professionals about the functioning body systems of the newborn?