Newborn Apgar Score
 
Score Interpretation
0 - 3 Severely Ill
4 - 6 Moderately Ill
7-10 Healthy
 
Color
All pink (2 point[s])
Blue extremities and pink body (1 point[s])
Bluish gray or pale all over body (0 point[s])
Heart rate
Over 100 beats per minute (2 point[s])
Less than 100 beats per minute (1 point[s])
Absent (0 point[s])
Breathing
Normal breathing, baby is crying (2 point[s])
Irregular or slow breathing (1 point[s])
Absent (0 point[s])
Response to nose catheter
Pulls away, sneezes, or cough (2 point[s])
Grimace (1 point[s])
No response (0 point[s])
Muscle activity
Active (2 point[s])
Arms and legs flexed, but little movement (1 point[s])
Limp (0 point[s])

 

Adapted from Burkow R ed. The Merck Manual. 14th ed. Merck; 1982:1757

Physicians rate a newborn according to the Apgar score devised in 1952 by Virginia Apgar, 1 minute after birth and then at 5 minutes. For some severely ill infants a score will also be given at 10 minutes. This is a scoring system which is used to assess infants for cardiopulmonary and neurologic depression. The lower the score the more profoundly ill the infant is, with scores under 7 being associated with some abnormality at birth.

Low initial score with no improvement after the 5 minute score is associated with neonatal illness. A very low score (especially 3 or lower) may indicate asphyxia (lack of oxygen to the brain). It is rare and indicates that resuscitative measures, such as placing a tube in the baby's trachea to help him breathe or giving oxygen to the baby may be implemented.

A score between 4 and 6 may indicate that further observation is warranted or that the baby's airway needs suctioning or the baby may need oxygen to help him breathe.

Scores of 7 or above indicate the baby is generally considered to be in good health and does not require immediate intervention.

The Apgar score cannot be used to predict long-term potential medical or cognitive problems.

Medically Reviewed by: David Perlstein, MD, FAAP on March 18, 2008

STAY INFORMED

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!





Medical Dictionary


RxList

Pill Identifier

Quick and easy pill identification

Use Pill Finder

Find a Pharmacy

Includes 24 hour locations!

Find it Now

Drug Interaction Checker

See potential drug interactions

Check Interactions