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APGAR Scores

Michael Bereston

The APGAR score was developed by Dr. Virginia Apgar in 1952 as a way to quickly assess a newborn baby. This assessment is done at 1 minute of life, 5 minutes of life and can be repeated after that as the condition of the baby warrants.

There are 5 categories that are scored with a maximum of 2 points per category. The categories scored include the baby’s color, heart rate, reflexes, muscle tone and respiratory effort.

The categories and scores are as follows:


0 = Blue or pale
1 = Blue hands or feet
2 = Completely pink

Pulse/Heart rate

0 = No heart rate
1 = Heart rate less than 100 beats per minute
2 = Heart rate over 100 beats per minute


0 = No response to stimulation
1 = Grimace or weak cry with stimulation
2 = Cry with stimulation

Activity/Muscle Tone

0 = Limp, floppy
1 = Some flexion of extremities
2 = Active motion

Respiratory Effort

0 = Absent
1 = Slow, irregular breathing
2 = Strong cry

Apgar scores below 5 at 1 minute is an indication to healthcare providers that your baby needs some immediate interventions such as providing oxygen, suctioning or even CPR if indicated.

A low Apgar score may be an indication that the baby has suffered a hypoxic or anoxic event during the labor and delivery process.

If you believe your baby may have suffered from a lack of oxygen during the labor and delivery process, call the Bereston Law Offices for a free consultation.


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Mother kissing her baby's feet