What is the APGAR score?
Everything you need to know about the first test your baby undergoes after birth.
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Newborn baby
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Minutes after your baby is born, he will already have to complete his first of many tests in life. This test is called the APGAR test which aims to evaluate a baby’s condition and detect possible problems.

Virginia Apgar devised this scoring system in 1953. It is now standard practice in most hospitals. The test is taken at 1 minute and again at 5 minutes after the baby’s birth.

What APGAR means

Each part of the APGAR test is assigned different scores. Below we explain each sign and the points they are scored.

A score of 7 or more is considered normal. Scores below 7 generally show that some bodily processes are not functioning fully, and need to be observed. A score of 4 or less requires immediate emergency measures.

Appearance (or skin colour)

Pale or blue - score of 0
Pink body and blue extremities - score of 1
Pink and healthy - score of 2

Pulse (or strength of heartbeat)

Not detectable/no heartbeat - score of 0
Below 100 beats per minute - score of 1
Normal/above 100 beats per minute - score of 2

Grimace (or response to stimulation)

No response to stimulation - score of 0
Grimace/facial movement only - score of 1
Lusty cry, pulls away, sneezes, coughs etc - score of 2

Activity (or muscle tone)

Flaccid, weak or no activity - score of 0
Some movement of extremities - score of 1
A lot of activity - score of 2

Respiration (or breathing)

No breathing detected - score of 0
Slow or irregular breathing - score of 1
Strong breathing and crying - score of 2

Did you know what the APGAR score meant?

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