Neonatology veterinarians still experience higher mortality rates among their patients than their human counterparts. Establishment of a neonatal assessment protocol is fundamental to the identification of the medical status of the neonate and the need for medical intervention. The objective of the present study was to describe an evaluation protocol based on the Apgar score in association with clinical and laboratory parameters. The study included 104 newborns, 49 from normal birth and 55 from cesarean section, evaluated at birth and 60 minutes thereafter. Clinical examination included Apgar score, neonatal reflexes score (suckle, rooting and righting reflexes), temperature and weight. Laboratory assessments (glucose and lactate levels and blood gas analysis) were performed at the site of the birth. Recovery in the Apgar score (8.74 at 60 min versus 5.88 at birth, p < 0.001), neonatal reflexes score (with an average increase of 1.42 points, p < 0.001) and temperature (with an average increase of 0.82°C, p < 0.002) were observed after 60 minutes. The laboratory parameters that were determined to be elevated were pH (p < 0.001), HCO3 (p < 0.001), BE (p < 0.001), TCO2 (p < 0.001) and iCa (p < 0.001). Lactate (p = 0.001) and K+ (p = 0.038) values were decreased. This study shows that the combination of assessment methods was effective in identifying neonates at risk. We believe that knowledge of these reference values is essential for establishing suitable treatments as soon as possible, reducing mortality in newborns.
FAPESP GRANTS 2012/03234-0 and 2012/10689-3.