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Virginia Apgar
(1909 - 1974)

picture of Virginia Apgar

Virginia Apgar was Columbia University's first full Professor of Anesthesiology. She introduced the Newborn Scoring System, better known as the "Apgar Score", designed to assess the health of newborn baby. Conceived in 1949, the Apgar Score was refined and then published in 1953. Under Apgar's system, a maximum score of two points each is assigned for five criteria: respiratory effort, reflex irritability, muscle tone, heart rate, and colour. Unless the baby is born by Caesarian section, the assessment is typically made between one and five minutes after birth. Apgar also specialised in obstetric anaesthesia and the effects of maternal anaesthetics on the newborn child.


Utopian Surgery
Refs and Further Reading
Anaesthesia and Anaesthetics