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Apgar score

Created: 30/11/2004

Newborn babies were often neglected in the delivery room until the Apgar Score was introduced in 1952 by anesthesiologist Virginia Apgar, MD (1909-1974). The Apgar score was developed to determine which babies needed resuscitation but also led to many studies of possible factors causing poor neonatal outcome. So, the Apgar score laid the groundwork for modern neonatology and our current practice of obstetric anaesthesia.

Apgar score

Calculate score at 1 and 5 minutes
Calculate score at additional 5 minute intervals
Until APGAR Score exceeds 6

Calculation (Maximum of 10 points)


Blue: 0
Acrocyanotic: 1
Pink: 2


Absent pulse: 0
Heart rate under 100 beats per minute: 1
Heart rate over 100 beats per minute: 2

Grimace (reflex irritability)

No response: 0
Grimace: 1
Vigorous cough or sneeze: 2

Activity (muscle tone)

Limp: 0
Some flexion of extremities: 1
Active motion: 2

Respiratory effort

Respirations absent: 0
Slow or irregular breaths: 1
Good respiratory rate and cry: 2



[i] A proposal for a new method of evaluation of the newborn infant.
Apgar V.
Curr Res Anesth Analg 1953; 32: 260-7

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