What’s APGAR score?

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


  1. http://www.acog.org/Resources-And-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Obstetric-Practice/The-Apgar-Score
  2. Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn, by Simkin, Whalley, Keppler, Durham, & Bolding (2010)
  3. Maternity & Women’s Health Care, by Lowdermilk, Perry, Cashion, & Alden (2012)
  4. wikipedia.org
  5. babycenter.com