The pioneering woman who invented a life-saving test for newborns


Her work on the health of babies was the focus of her fantastic career which saw her become the first woman to be a professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S) in 1949. Apgar noticed this trend and began investigating different methods for decreasing the infant mortality rate specifically within the first 24 hours of an infant's life.

Dr. Apgar developed the test after noticing that, even though the general USA infant mortality rate fell between the 1930s and 1950s, it remained constant for babies within the first day of life. Her invention is still used today, 66 years later. In her field as a doctor she witnessed many birth defects which led her to develop the Apgar score. Countries across the world were quick to adopt the test and the Apgar Score is being used even today by obstetricians.

On June 7th, 2018, google doodle honored Apgar with a colorful image of her writing on a pad and a picture of a baby next to her.

She was no exception and she was instead encouraged to practice anesthesiology.

Aside from the Apgar Score, she also accomplished numerous feats throughout her career. Apgar first came up with the Apgar Score in 1952, and it has been used in almost every hospital birth ever since.

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The scores for the five categories are then compiled and an infant with a 10 would be in the best possible condition. The functions included the measuring of heart rate, respiration, muscle tone, reflexes and skin color of the newborn.

She went on to study zoology with minors in physiology and chemistry, graduating in 1929. A few years later, she became the first female head of department at that hospital. The test is done under 60 seconds and five minutes after birth whether the newborn needs any additional help to sustain life.

Thursday's Google Doodle appeared for internet users in the United States, as well as Japan, India, Israel, Chile, Argentina, Australia and several European nations. Born and raised in Westfield, New Jersey to a musical family, she was the youngest of the three children.

A score of 7 and above is what the doctor would be hoping for and regard as normal, with 4 to 6 being quite low. "A Guide to Birth Defects", written with Joan Beck. On August 7, 1974, she died of cirrhosis of the liver at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.