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Alternative namesNewborn scoring
Designed in 1952 by Dr. Virginia Apgar at Columbia University's Babies Hospital, the APGAR score is a quick test performed at 1 and 5 minutes after birth to determine the physical condition of the newborn. The rating is based on a scale of 1 to 10. Ten suggests the healthiest infant, and scores below 5 indicate that the infant needs immediate assistance in adjusting to his or her new environment.
How the test is performedFive categories are assessed:
The 1-minute APGAR score assesses how well the infant tolerated the birthing process. The 5-minute APGAR score assesses how well the newborn is adapting to the environment.
Why the test is performed
This test is a screening tool for health care providers to determine what assistance is immediately necessary to help your newborn stabilize.
A score of 8 or 9 is normal and indicates your newborn is in good condition. A score of 10 is very unusual -- almost all newborns lose one point for blue hands and feet.
What abnormal results mean
Any score lower than 8 indicates your child needs assistance stabilizing. A low score at 1 minute that normalizes by 5 minutes has not been associated with any long-term negative effects.
What the risks areNo risks are associated with the APGAR test.
Update Date: 10/28/2002Philip L. Graham III, M.D., F.A.A.P., Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of New York, Columbia University, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT