APGAR Scores

What does that crazy test at birth mean? The test looks at five criteria at one and five minutes of age and is used as a way for doctors to communicate with each other the overall health of the baby at birth.

Right after a baby is born a doctor or nurse will assess APGAR scores at one and five minutes after birth. This is a score given in five different categories; each receives a score of zero to two. The five categories are then added together to get an APGAR score. These scores are a way for medical personnel to communicate to each other what the baby looked like at these times. The scores are used to give an idea of how well or how poorly the baby looked and responded at specific times right after birth.

The scores were set up by Virginia Apgar as a way to access mom’s anesthesia effects on the baby and as a way to communicate to other doctors what shape the baby was in right after birth.  It is mainly used a score to look at how likely a baby was to die, but prolonged depressed scores do have a record of making it more suspicious that damage might have occurred to the baby’s brain from lack of oxygen thus leading to conditions like cerebral palsy.

The five categories that are assessed are appearance, pulse, grimace, activity and respiration.  Although parents like to brag about APGAR scores to each other they are very subjective and have no link to higher intelligence.

No matter how hard we try no college has started to take APGAR scores into consideration to get that baby into college.

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