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Extracted from Survival Guide to Midwifery, 2nd Edition (2012) Diane M. Fraser and Margaret A. Cooper, Oxford; Churchill Livingstone: 2012. Courtesy Elsevier
The Apgar score was developed in 1952 by Virginia Apgar as a means to quickly assess the health of newborn baby, particularly in the context of the effects of obstetric anaesthesia. It comprises evaluation of five criteria on a scale from zero to two, then summing the values, resulting in a score ranging from zero to 10.
The criteria can be remembered with this mnemonic: Appearance Pulse (heart rate) Grimace (response to stimuli) Activity Respiration
Assessments should be performed at 1 and 5 minutes, for the further management of resuscitation (if required) and response to resuscitation. The higher the score, the better the outcome for the baby.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (2014) Intrapartum care for healthy women and babies. Clinical guideline 190. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg190/chapter/1-recommendations