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Apgar score

This page is about the eponym Apgar score


a test given to a newborn baby one minute after birth and five minutes after birth. It evaluates the baby's physical condition. Babies who score low after five minutes are assessed again.

The word Apgar is sometimes used as an acronym. This helps people remember what infants are tested for. APGAR: Appearance, Pulse, Grimace (reflexes), Activity (muscle tone), and Respiration (breathing)

Origin: Virginia Apgar (1909-1974) was an American anesthesiologist who specialised in neonatology (the care of newborn, especially premature, infants). Virginia Apgar believed in the importance of early diagnosis of birth defects. She developed the Apgar score (1953) to quickly assess the health of newborn babies.

Quick Quiz

Which of the following is NOT measured in the Apgar score?

a. sense of smell

b. heartbeat

c. movement

Contributor: Tara Benwell