June 21, 2018

Today's Google Doodle Honors the Creator of the Apgar Scale

08 June 2018, 11:54 | Winifred Adams

Google Doodle celebrates 109th birthday of Dr Virgini..e Apgar Score for summarising the health of a newborn

Google doodle celebrates Dr Virginia Apgar the doctor behind unique newborn score

Apgar went on to become a professor of anesthesiology in 1949 at the College of Physicians and Surgeons and was the first female physician to receive the rank of professor at the college.

Through her work she noticed that between the 1930s and 1950s, while the infant mortality rate in the U.S. was decreasing, the number of infants who lost their lives in the first 24 hours after their birth remained stable. Her invention helped reduce the mortality rate for newborns in the USA from one in 30 in the 1950s to one in 500 today.

Later, Apgar's studies of obstetrical anesthesia led to her creating the Apgar score.

After she started her work in NY in 1933, Dr Apgar was concerned by the treatment of newborn babies.

On June 7th, 2018, google doodle honored Apgar with a colorful image of her writing on a pad and a picture of a baby next to her.

She then trained at the nation's first department of anesthesia at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and interned at Bellevue Hospital in NY. In 1952, she finally presented the Apgar Score system.

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Born on June 7, 1909, in Westfield, New Jersey to a father who was an insurance executive but had an interest in invention and astronomy, Virginia was also encouraged to take an interest in science.

Each category is scored with 0, 1, or 2, depending on the observed condition. A= Appearance (skin colour), P= Pulse (heart rate), G= Grimace (reflex irritability), A=Activity (muscle tone), and R=Respiration. The test is done under 60 seconds and five minutes after birth whether the newborn needs any additional help to sustain life.

She was a staunch advocate ofr universal vaccination and early intervention for the prevention of birth defects. She was also the first woman to head a division at the Presbyterian Hospital in NY. The hospital opened a new division of anaesthesia at that time and Apgar became its first Director.

The doctor travelled widely and gave lectures across the US. Scores 7 and above are generally normal, whereas 4 to 6 are considered fairly low, and 3 and below are generally regarded as critically low.

She also co-wrote a book in 1972 called "Is My Baby All Right?", explaining the causes and treatment of a variety of common birth defects. She died at the age of 65 on August 7, 1974 in New York City.

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