APGAR score in newborns
What is the APGAR score?
Babies are assigned a "score" for how well they are recovering from the birthing process. An APGAR score is typically assigned at 1 and 5 minutes after birth. If the score is low at 5 minutes, sometimes the score is determined at 10 minutes, also.
What does APGAR stand for?
The name "APGAR" comes from the doctor who invented the scoring system, Dr. Virginia Apgar, an anesthesiologist from Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. However, "APGAR" also serves as an acronym to help remember the 5 scoring components.
A - Appearance (pink, mottled, or blue)
P - Pulse (more than 100, less than 100, or zero beats per minute)
G - Grimace (response to suctioning of the mouth and nose - an expression of discomfort)
A - Activity (flexed arms and legs, extended arms and legs, limp)
R - Respirations (crying or breathing without difficulty, gasping, or not breathing)
Each category is given a number 2, 1, or zero. A total of 10 is the highest (and best) score possible.
What does a low APGAR score mean?
The APGAR score is loosely associated with a newborn's expected clinical course and long-term medical problems (i.e., brain damage, mental retardation, etc.).
Some infants with very low APGAR scores recover quickly and have no long-term problems. While others with perfect APGAR scores are found to have unexplained brain damage or cerebral palsy. The APGAR should be used as a basic, uniform guide to help medical workers communicate the baby's response to delivery.
Last Updated (Sunday, 21 June 2009 19:52)