Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

The inventor of Apgar Score - Dr. Virginia Apgar honored by Google

The inventor of Apgar Score - Dr. Virginia Apgar honored by Google

In 1949, she became the first woman to teach at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

The US infant mortality rate between the 1930s and 1950s decreased despite the number of infant deaths within the first 24 hours after birth remaining constant.

The Apgar score is a method to quickly summarize the health of newborn children against infant mortality.

Apgar challenged this practice and set the foundations of neonatology when she created the Apgar score in 1952, according to the US National Library of Medicine.

The Apgar score is a way of measuring the health of a baby right after birth and is still used in many hospitals in the U.S. today.

Virginia Apgar has been honoured in the Google Doodle for June 7, 2018, on what would have been her 109th birthday.

Although initially her studies were focused on surgery, at the prompt of the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, Allen Whipple, turned to anesthesiology.

Ghana Football Association Dissolved Following Documentary Exposing Widespread Corruption
The heavily guarded auditorium was draped in national colours and before the screening, the crowd, presided over by a Catholic priest, sang the national anthem.

The test can be performed by a doctor, midwife, or nurse to examine the baby's breathing effort, heart rate, muscle tone, reflexes and skin colour. The resulting Apgar score ranges from 0 to 10.

She was a staunch advocate ofr universal vaccination and early intervention for the prevention of birth defects. She entered the field at a time when America had too few women medical practitioners. "The scores were to be given to a newborn one minute after birth, and additional scores could be given in five-minute increments to guide treatment if the newborn's condition did not sufficiently improve".

Google explains: "It looks at 5 factors, which doctors remember by spelling out her last name: appearance, pulse, grimace, activity and respiration".

She was extraordinary during her academic career and held three honorary doctorates - Honorary doctorate, Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania (1964); Honorary doctorate, Mount Holyoke College (1965); and Honorary doctorate, New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry (1967).

A score of 7 and above is what the doctor would be hoping for and regard as normal, with 4 to 6 being quite low. Apgar's encountering many birth defects in her work, led her to invent this tool.

She died on 7 August, 1974 because of a liver failure, a disease also called as cirrhosis.

Like this: