Medical History: The Apgar Score

Friday, October 29, 2010 // Uncategorized

5/26/2009 10:46:55 PM

Here’s an article from that famous medical journal, The Wallstreet Journal, on a medical pioneer.  Dr. Virginia Apgar originated the score that bears her name.

How’s Your Baby? Recalling The Apgar Score’s Namesake


Columnist's name
  • In the 1950s, babies named Linda and Bobby came home from the hospital in Studebakers with Fats Domino on the radio. Many were given a new score a minute after birth to assess how well they made the transition from womb to room. Today, the Apgar score is still given to nearly every baby born in a hospital world-wide.

Many parents know Apgar as an acronym for what it measures: Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity and Respiration. But the score was first named for Virginia Apgar, the gutsy anesthesiologist who, in 1949, scribbled it on the back of a card in a hospital cafeteria that read “Please Bus Your Trays.”

Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special CollectionsDr. Virginia Apgar, circa 1950

Virginia Apgar

Virginia Apgar


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