The Apgar score is done at one and five minutes after birth.
The maxiumum score is 10, but this is unusual as babies normally lose a point for having a bit of blueness at their extremities. A normal score is >7
If your baby gets a perfect 10, consider them for future gymnastic/ diving/ figure skating competitions. (This isn’t medically justified, but I’ve got a good feeling.)
An abnormal score of <7 mean the baby needs medical attention - Neonatal Resuscitation. The score must also be repeated every 5 mins until it is >7.
(A very brief overview of) Neonatal Resus:
- Dry Baby with towels and ‘start the clock’
- If not breathing well, but heart rate >100, assess only
- If not breathing well after 1 min, 5 inflation breaths (only little ones)
- Reassess, consider O2 sats monitoring
- If no progress, do airway manoeuvres
- Chest compressions
The later interventions are relatively uncommon, and normally undertaken by specialist Neonatologists. Evidence suggests lung inflation is the key to success. There are some differences for preterm births.
Pretty impressed that the Dr Apgar managed to make an acronym out of their own name…