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.
Why is the APGAR test performed ?
The APGAR test examines the baby’s
- Heart beat
- Breathing effort
- Muscle tone
- Skin color
Each category is scored from 0 to 2 with 2 being the highest score.
0 – no heart beat
1 – fewer than 100 beats per minute ( baby not very responsive)
2 – more than 100 beats per minute (vigorous baby )
0 – baby is not breathing
1 – weak cry that may sound like grunting or whimpering
2- strong cry
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
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.
Your Child’s First Test: The APGAR . American Pregnancy Association . http://americanpregnancy.org/labor-and-birth/apgar-test/. Accessed February 2 , 2015
APGAR. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus . http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003402.htm. Accessed February 2, 2015
The apgar score. Nemours foundation. http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/q_a/apgar.html. February 2 , 2015.