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Old 09-17-2012  
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Default What is the Apgar Test For Newborns?

The APGAR test can be thought of as the first test for your baby. It’s used as a general assessment of your child and doesn’t predict future intellect or behavior. It’s also important for you to understand that very few babies get a perfect APGAR score. This test was created in 1952 by an obstetric anesthesiologist and is now the standard in newborn assessment testing.

APGAR Test for Newborns
The APGAR is used immediately after your baby is delivered and the score is usually recorded one and five minutes post-birth. The first one-minute test is used to check the baby’s health and decide if it needs immediate medical treatment. The five-minute test measures how your baby has responded to any previous resuscitation tries. The APGAR measures your baby’s heart rate, reflexes, muscle tone, respiration and color.

What Does the One Minute APGAR Score Mean
An APGAR score can range from 0 to 2 for each of these 5 conditions with a total maximum score of ten. During the one-minute APGAR test, a score of seven to ten indicates a child that needs only routine care after birth. A score between four and six indicates the child needs breathing assistance. A score under four indicates prompt and lifesaving measures are necessary.

What Does the Five Minute APGAR Score Mean
For the five minute APGAR test, any score between seven and ten is considered normal. A score below seven means the child needs to be retested every 5 minutes up to 4 times and receive monitoring. Remember, a score less than normal does not indicate permanent problems for your baby.

How the APGAR Test is Scored
There are five areas tested for an APGAR score: heart rate, muscle tone, color, respiration and reflexes. Here’s what each category means and how it’s scored.
  • Heart Rate. 0 means no heart rate; 1 means less than 100 bpm and the baby is minimally responsive; 2 means over 100 bpm and the baby is vigorous.
  • Respiration. 0 means the baby is not breathing; 1 means there is a weak whimpering cry; 2 means the cry is strong.
  • Muscle tone. 0 means the baby is limp; 1 means the baby has some bending of their limbs; 2 means the baby is actively moving.
  • Reflex. 0 means there is no response to the baby’s airways being stimulated; 2 means the baby is grimacing during this stimulation by the nurse; 3 means the baby is both grimacing and coughing as the airways are stimulated by the healthcare provider.
  • Color. 0 means the baby is blue or pale all over; 1 means the baby has good color but the hands and feet are blue; 2 means the baby has pink color on their entire body.
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