It is a quick method for reporting the status of the newborn immediately after birth. It was invented by the anesthesiologist Virginia Apgar in 1952. It is a scoring system that provides a standardized assessment for infants after delivery.It is reported at 1 min and 5 min after birth. Below is a table that explains its components:
|Component of the acronym||0||1||2|
|A: Appearance (Skin color)||Blue or pale overall||Extremities are blue but the body is pink||Body and extremities are pink|
|P: Pulse (heart rate)||Absent||<100 bpm||>100 bpm|
|G: Grimace (baby’s response to stimulation)||No response to stimulation||Grimace on suction or aggressive stimulation||Cry on stimulation|
|A: Activity||None||Some flexion||Flexed arms and legs that resist extension|
|R: Respiration||Absent||Weak, irregular, gasping||Strong cry|
The one-minute APGAR score helps the care provider decide if your baby needs immediate medical intervention:
- Between 7 and 10, your baby is usually in a good shape and only needs his/her mother’s arms around him/her.
- Between 4 and 6, your baby may need some help breathing.
- A score under 3 means that the baby needs immediate lifesaving resuscitation.
The 5-minutes APGAR score indicates to your doctor or midwife how your baby is progressing and allows him/her to see if he has responded to any initial medical intervention. A score of 7 to 10 is normal. A score of 6 or less at this point means he may need further medical help.
Written by Fatma SAFI
- Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn, by Simkin, Whalley, Keppler, Durham, & Bolding (2010)
- Maternity & Women’s Health Care, by Lowdermilk, Perry, Cashion, & Alden (2012)