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The APGAR Test

The APGAR test is a quick test performed  on  babies  at 1 and 5 minutes in the delivery room right after birth. The 1 minute test tells the doctor how the baby tolerated the birthing process. The 5 minute scores tells  how the baby is doing outside the mother’s womb. This test can help the doctor determine if the baby needs any immediate or future treatment.
apgar test

Why is the APGAR test performed ?


The APGAR test examines the baby’s

  • Heart beat
  • Breathing effort
  • Muscle tone
  • Reflexes
  • Skin color


Each category is scored from 0 to 2 with 2 being the  highest score.


Heart rate

0 – no heart beat

1 – fewer than 100 beats per minute ( baby not very responsive)

2 – more than 100 beats per minute (vigorous baby )


Breathing effort

0 –  baby is not breathing

1 – weak cry that may sound like grunting or whimpering

2- strong cry


Muscle tone

0 – loose and floppy muscles

1 –  some flexing of arms and legs

2 – active motion


Reflexes (response to stimulation)

0 – no response when airways is stimulated

1 – grimace during stimulation

2 – grimace and coughing or  sneezing when the baby is stimulated


Skin color

0 –  the baby’s entire body is blue or pale

1 – the baby’s body is pink but extremities ( hands and feet ) are blue

2 – the baby’s entire body is pink


The maximum final score for the 5 different tests  is 10. During the   minute APGAR test, a final score between  seven and ten indicates that the baby will need only routine post delivery care. Scores between 4 and 6 indicate that the baby may need some breathing assistance.  Scores lower  than 4  require immediate  lifesaving measures.
During the 5 minute assessment   a score of 7 to 10 is normal. Scores below 7  require the baby to be monitored and re-tested  every five minutes for up to twenty minutes. However, a lower than normal score does not mean the baby will have permanent health problems.
Content Sources

Your Child’s First Test: The APGAR . American Pregnancy Association . Accessed February 2 , 2015
APGAR. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus . Accessed February 2, 2015
The apgar score. Nemours foundation. February 2 , 2015.

December 11, 2019 | 7:47 31    By oohs N coos    

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