The Apgar score is a convenient and quick method doctors use to report a newborn’s health just after birth. The test assesses the child’s skin color, pulse rate, reflex irritability grimace, activity, and respiratory effort with a score from zero to two. Low scores on the test show that the infant requires immediate medical care, while high scores show that the child is likely healthy. Doctors usually perform the test at several intervals after birth. These intervals are most commonly one minute and five minutes, though doctors may perform additional tests at 10, 15, and 30 minutes.
Anesthesiologist Virginia Apgar created the test in 1952 at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. She devised the test as a way of assessing the infant’s health following the usage of obstetric anesthesia on the mother. Since the test’s creation in 1952, the medical community has adopted a backronym to provide a mnemonic method of remembering each stage of the test. Medical professionals now refer to the five criteria as appearance, pulse, grimace, activity, and respiration.
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