The Apgar test is performed on a baby at 1 and 5 minutes after birth. This five-step test has doctors examine the appearance, pulse, grimace, activity, and respiration of newborns.
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Thursday's a href="https://www.google.com/doodles/dr-virginia-apgars-109th-birthday" Google Doodle celebrates the birthday of Dr. Virginia Apgar, whose Apgar Score has saved countless lives.
The assessment has been called the "birth of clinical neonatology" and credited with not only reducing infant mortality but also changing health care's approach to the birth process to be more effectively focus on mother and child and the effects of delivery on the baby.
Doctors score each part score of zero to two, with the highest total score being 10. "I love to see new places, and I certainly can chatter", she said about the job she took working as the director of the department of birth defects for what is now the March of Dimes.
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Apgar graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in the USA with flying colours. Score above 7 are normal and 4 to 6 are fairly low. Apgar concentrated on maternal anesthesia practices and is considered the pioneer in teratology, the study of birth defects. She wanted to be a surgeon, but was discouraged by the (male) chairman of surgery. She noticed that the number of infant deaths within the first 24 hours remained high, despite the fact that overall the USA infant mortality rate was decreasing.
Apgar was quick to realise the trend and concentrated on the methods for decreasing the infant mortality rate specifically within the first 24 hours of the newborn's life. She joined Columbia University as its first full-time woman professor in 1949 and was the first woman to head a division at New York's Presbyterian Hospital.
At a time when few women went to medical school, Apgar attended the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, obtaining a medical degree in 1933.
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She died on 7 August, 1974 because of a liver failure, a disease also called as cirrhosis. She passed away at the age of 65 in the same hospital where she was practising.