(Dr. Virginia Apgar is Eric's Grand Aunt, his Grandfather's Sister.)
(To Karen & Eric's Home Page)

Apgar Scoring* for Newborns

A score is given for each sign at one minute and five minutes after the birth. If there are problems with the baby an additional score is given at 10 minutes. A score of 7-10 is considered normal, while 4-7 might require some resuscitative measures, and a baby with apgars of 3 and below requires immediate resuscitation.


0 Points

1 Point

2 Points


Appearance (Skin Color)
Blue-gray, pale all over
Normal, except for extremities
Normal over entire body


Below 100 bpm
Above 100 bpm


Grimace (Reflex Irritability)
No Response
Sneeze, cough, pulls away


Activity (Muscle Tone)
Arms and Legs Flexed
Active Movement


Slow, irregular
Good, crying
*The Apgar score was published in 1953. Ten years later an acronym was reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that helpled teach the Apgar score by using the letters of her last name. This acronym was co-authored by Dr. Joseph Butterfield.

Virginia Apgar Pictures, Articles and Information

PICTURES (click me)

Arcticles and Information:

Stamp Information

Hall of Fame Article

Book Cover

Dr. Howland

Apgar Score Proposal

Who Is Dr. Calmes?

Hall of Fame List

Columbia Articles ext.

Dr. Calmes Article 1

Dr. Calmes Article 2

Dr. Calmes Article 3

Dr. Calmes Article 4

Dr. Calmes Article 5


More Related Links (External)

International Anesthesia Research Society
American Society of Anesthesiologists
Columbia Department of Anesthesiology
  Women in the workplace   
Legacy '98
National Women's History Project
AAP Awards
National Women's Hall of Fame
Another "What is the Apgar Score" Article
Lemelson - MIT Inventors Page


Dr. Virginia Apgar's test for babies

When a baby is born, the new parents immediately memorize the child's weight, length and time of birth. But there's an equally important vital statistic they frequently note: the child's "Apgar score."

Dr. Virginia Apgar, a Westfield, NJ native, developed the now famous test that measures the infant's physical condition minutes after birth. Her efforts led at least one health official to credit her with doing more to improve the health of mothers, babies and the unborn than perhaps anyone this century.

It has been said that babies born in modern hospitals anywhere in the world are looked at first through the eyes of Virginia Apgar. Given at one minute and five minutes after birth, the Apgar test quickly assesses the:

   A ppearance (skin color),

   P ulse,

   G rimace (reflexes),

   A ctivity (muscle activity) and

   R espiration (breathing).

A low score can immediately signal the need for emergency medical attention.

Dr. Apgar is said to have developed the lO-point scoring system in 1952 to force physicians and nurses to pay more attention to newborns in the first critical minutes of life. As a result, her work formed the foundation of what was then a new medical specialty-perinatology, which since has helped save countless infant lives.

Dr. Apgar's contributions to medicine and health, however, extended far beyond the development of the infant test that bears her name.

Born in 1909, Dr. Apgar was determined to make medicine her life's work at a time when few women even attended college. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College and, in 1933, received her medical degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University.

After practicing surgery for a few years, Dr. Apgar turned her attention to the fledgling field of anesthesiology, eventually focusing on obstetrics and the effects of anesthesia techniques on newborns.

Her passionate interest in the health and welfare of children-including the unborn-that resulted in the Apgar score also sent her on a new career path. In 1959, Dr Apgar received a master's degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University and joined the National Foundation of the March of Dimes as head of its birth defects division.

Traveling around the globe, the well known and respected physician lectured about birth defects and raised money for research toward their prevention and treatment. It is believed that "Virginia Apgar probably did more than any other physician to bring the problem of birth defects out of the back rooms."

Dr. Apgar died in 1974 at age 65 in New York City. To honor her, the U.S. Postal Service issued a 20¢ commemorative stamp on October 24th, 1994. The woman who broke new ground in medicine would be pleased. Stamp collecting was one of her favorite hobbies. In November of 1995 she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, NY. Eric Apgar attended the ceremony and gave an acceptance speech on her behalf.

Special thanks to Henry Apgar, Dr. Apgars second cousin, for helping us recognize her lasting contributions. Eric Apgar is a great nephew of Dr. Apgar.

The Apgar.net home page

The Apgar family info page