Alternate Names : Newborn Scoring
The APGAR score is a quick test done on an infant at 1, 5,
and sometimes 10 minutes after birth to determine his or her physical
Who is a candidate for the test?
All babies delivered in a hospital or birthing center have
APGAR testing by trained delivery room staff. The test is used as a
screening tool so doctors can decide what medical help may be needed
to stabilize a newborn in distress.
How is the test performed?
The APGAR score is based on looking at five aspects of the
infant, first at 1 minute, then again at 5 minutes. If fetal distress was
present during labor and delivery, a 10-minute score may also be
performed. Each aspect of the test is scored from 0 to 2 points, depending
upon the health of the infant, as follows:
heart rate: 0 = no heart beat; 1 = heart rate less than 100; 2 = heart rate
more than 100
respiratory effort: 0 = no breaths; 1 = slow, irregular breathing;
2 = crying with breaths
muscle tone: 0 = flaccid; 1 = some flexion of extremities; 2 = active
reflex irritability, which is how much the newborn reacts in response to
stimuli: 0 = no response; 1 = grimacing; 2 = vigorous cry
color: 0 = pale blue; 1 = body is pink, but extremities are blue; 2 = body
and extremities are pink